Bryce Speed had an exhibition at WonderRoot in Atlanta this past summer and his solo show, Offhand Places, in New Orleans at the TEN Gallery opened at the beginning of October. In July, he spent three weeks in residence at A.I.R. Studio in Paducah, Kentucky, funded with the RGC Grant that he received in last spring. We email-interviewed him about his art and other thoughts for the fall 2015 issue of The Loupe:
Loupe: Did the work you showed at TEN come out of AIR?
BS: I started several of the pieces at AIR and completed them in my UA studio during August and September. AIR was a chance to reconcile some ideas that had been building over last year about the integration of abstraction and more forceful color into the work. My content has remained the same, about the relationship between space and identity. But, I feel some of the visual parts of the work are more ambiguous now in terms of the places and situations it represents.
Loupe: Was it helpful to do the residency?
BS: It was totally enriching to step away from everything and just create work. I had a very good experience. I was able to clear my mind and start new work on a clean slate. For me, every experimentation with my art in some way comes back and fuels my core art making. The residency allowed the changes to unfold while providing an opportunity to map a course on how to proceed when I am back in my studio.
Loupe: Has your work been changing — maybe since we last talked at The Grocery during your show there?
BS: The grocery show was a chance to show a couple of pieces that were raw and that I might not otherwise show. I viewed that exhibit as a walk into my studio. Generally, my work is expanding in its content and materials. I am not sure if I can articulate it at the moment.
BS: Teaching is a joy. Students are a joy. As a faculty member, we work alongside students in all levels of research. The learning that happens is ongoing and all-consuming.
Image credits: (top) “Spout,” 25 x 31 inches, acrylic, ink, and pencil on paper. (middle) “Yellow Bark,” oil, pencil, and acrylic on paper, 24 x 27 inches. Images courtesy of the artist. (bottom right) Professors Lucy Curzon, Wendy Castenell and Bryce Speed at the fall 2015 UA Majors Fair.