FSU Libraries’ Art in the Library Committee organizes visual and performing arts programming in its spaces to enrich the library as an aesthetic and academic environment. A major part of this program includes exhibiting artwork drawn from the FSU student body on a semester-long basis.
Arya Anderson is an undergraduate student the College of Fine Arts. She hopes to provoke people, regardless of their gender, to feel the connection of femininity in the world around them and know that emotions should not be contained but felt and felt loudly without shame. She wants to evoke the feeling that we are a part of this world, and we are all divinely connected.
We sat down with Arya to ask about her exhibition and about her work as an artist. You can see Threads of Identity: Interconnectivity and Intersectionality in Dirac Science Library for the entire Summer 2023 season.
Tell us about this show – give our readers a brief introduction to the work you are exhibiting with us this semester.
Arya: This show in particular means a lot to me. It’s my first exhibition show. Each piece was made with different intentions but they’re all about women and what women experience. How women can be powerful through their expressions.Its key that some pieces are abstract while others are clearly recognizable as women. Because all women look different and have their own stories to tell while these pieces also have their own stories to tell.
What is your favorite work in this show? Tell us a little more about the story behind it.
Arya: I would say the Woman in Green, the second in the series of abstract pieces. I consider it a self portrait. I felt really connected to it. I depicted it as the woman feeling lost but she still embraces her journey and tries to live her life in color.
What does your artwork represent about you? What message do you want to send out into the world through your art?
Arya: For every piece I create is influenced by someone I have encountered or experienced. Whether its a folklore I’ve read or an angry person in a store. For example Unveiled Rage is about my own childhood experience and the way I felt neglected as a child and now as an adult I can feel rage and going through those emotions is not a bad thing, its a part of my journey and my story. I want people who see my work to know they can express themselves and tell their stories even if they dont like every one of my works.
How does being a student impact your creative process?
Arya: I’m a double major – which takes a lot of my time- and I don’t have time to explore my own creative time outside of class. But being a student has truly been a blessing. Being able to work with and share ideas with other student artists has been a great part of my student experience. It has given me the chance to have new experiences like this one, to exhibit my work, which I don’t think I would have found or been able to experience outside of this community.
Is research part of your art making process? If so, could you give us an idea of what that process is like? Where do you do research before you start making? Are there any specific kinds of information that are critical to your work?
Arya: So research is a part of it, not for every piece; some pieces are about creative emotions and a release of those emotions. But recently books and novels have been a large part of the influence of my pieces. History about women from various places and cultures has been a big part of what I look into. A lot of my work has recently centered around mythology and folklore so a lot of my research has been with people from those cultures or books about those stories.
Do you have a preferred medium to work in?
Arya: I don’t limit myself to a medium but I would consider myself a painter over anything else. I don’t restrict to a type of paint. I started with acrylics and moved onto oils, and lately I’ve been experimenting with water color and gouache. But I really continue experimenting with different paints and mediums until I feel my works have reached their fullest potential.
Who are your biggest artistic influences?
Arya: This question always really trips me up. I would like to say a famous or well known artist but that would be a bold-faced-lie. My biggest inspirations are fellow artists and books. I love working with my fellow art students and artists in the community, and even with people who I interact with that are just bold and honest. I feel like thats where you get true inspiration and find honest and truthful work.
How does art-making fit into your day-to-day life?
Arya: Art-making IS my day to day life. There has not been a single day in four years where I didn’t make art, even if it’s a small doodle, working on a painting, or designing a flier for a friend; there is not a day I don’t do some form of art making in my life.
Are there themes that pervade your work in general, not limited to the works included in this current exhibition?
Arya: My overall body of work is centered around interconnectivity. I believe every human, animal, plant, and even rocks hold and share energy. Even books hold energy and we share it and it moves among all of us. I pull from feminism and folklore – I believe femininity is a divine force and as I continue my practice I want to pull that more. Mythology and folklore play a huge part in my personal practice and I want to really focus on the feminine characters and energies in those stories. I feel that those stories have been shrugged off as unimportant stories of the past written for children but I feel like they’re still relevant and hold important messages and I want to continue to share them in our current world.
Where can our readers learn more about you and your work? Please share any social media or personal contact information you’d like to have published on our blog.
Arya: I have an instagram account called @aryasartworld and I have a website called aryasartworld.com where you can find a contact form and a commission form.