1. Who are you and what do you do?
I’m Constance McBride. I am primarily a ceramic sculptor creating work out of my home studio in North Phoenix. I am co-President of the artists’ collective eye lounge on Roosevelt Row and as of May, a new board member of Artlink.
2. How did you get your start?
I got my start as an artist by being encouraged by my mother, father and older siblings. I quickly realized I was in a very creative family. I got lucky. I took art classes in grade school, high school and college. A long time ago, I worked for a time as a free lance illustrator doing logos for small businesses and I had my own small business creating hand painted clothing that I sold direct and through boutiques in Philadelphia. I also dabbled in mosaic art which I still love to this day. But I didn’t focus on a serious career in art until I moved to Arizona. I got my start in Phoenix by joining some arts organizations, signing up for newsletters, and taking classes to gain a better understanding of the art scene here. For the first few years, I was only showing my work in juried group exhibitions. I received my first invitation to show in 2009, at Paradise Valley Community College where I was taking sculpture and ceramics courses. In 2013, Robrt Pela invited me to show at his gallery, r. pela contemporary art, on McDowell. That experience gave me more visibility downtown and it gave me the confidence to get out more and in turn I started achieving more of my goals.
3. What inspires you?
Time inspires me. Specifically, the effects time has on our bodies and my evolving emotions concerning them. The Southwest desert has also been a heavy influence on me. And, other artists inspire me; continuously! I love being out and about visiting the museums, galleries and artists studios to see what everyone is doing. We have such a diverse community of artists and styles of art to see; it’s becoming a mecca. It’s a good time to be here in Phoenix because it feels like we are right on the cusp of something big.
4. What do you like about AZ?
I like that we live in the desert (but only from October through April). Hiking trails in the Sonoran Preserve helps to clear my head and gives me a great deal of inspiration. I love to be outdoors with my dogs and living here gives me ample opportunity to do that. AND, I really like that the arts and culture scene is continuing to grow in Phoenix and that there are a variety of opportunities for anyone who wants to participate in it. Visiting all the great new restaurants, brew pubs and cocktail lounges that keep popping up is fun too.
5. Where can we see you(r) work?
My work can be seen at eye lounge. And, the collective is excited to be exhibiting this summer at the Shemer Art Center and Museum. The opening is on Thursday evening June 25 and the show will run through August 6. I am currently exhibiting work at the Udinotti Museum of Figurative Art in Paradise Valley through August and my work is on display at Vision Gallery in Chandler. My next solo exhibition at eye lounge is opening Third Friday in October and I am excited to be having a one night only exhibition on First Friday in December at The Icehouse. I post my work from time to time on social media and of course, it’s all on my website.
6. What would you like to accomplish before you die?
I want an M.F.A. degree (without having to go into serious debt), perhaps to teach (part-time), to do some artist residencies and travel more, to be in a position to mentor and give back to the community more, and to see my work being exhibited more widely. I just hope I can make a decent living as an artist, so that I can continue being an artist.
7. What is your mantra?
Just do it!