Search

Get to know Margie Criner...


Welcome back to our continued series, ONLINE → IN HOME.  This week, we feature Chicago based Artist, Margie Criner.  We asked some questions to learn more about her and how the current state of the world has affected her life.  Margie is a sculptor whose work combines design and play.  She has an unmistakeable laugh and a kind soul.  We're grateful she is a part of the Red Arrow family.  Get to know Margie Criner... Red Arrow:  Our last show together was at SOFA this past fall in your hometown of Chicago, what are your feelings on the future of Art Fairs?  MARGIE: They catch a good crowd, and it's a great way to gain exposure, but I'm not sure the investment is balanced with the outcome. It seems like more and more people buy art differently than a decade ago. So many art lovers are turning to the internet to buy their art, whether it's through art websites, instagram, or other online marketplaces. Red Arrow:  Please share a brief description of how you approach a new piece- Where does the inspiration for the interiors of your sculptures come from? MARGIE:   My work is rooted in processing a memory often from childhood, a social study on our culture, or common experiences. I usually start with just one element when I'm working with miniatures. I may build a miniature couch, and then start to build a room around it. I take each step, one at a time and let the piece evolve along the way. I don't usually start with a specific idea, or if I do, I stay open to that idea changing as I move through the process. Red Arrow:  How has the quarantine affected you personally? Has this affected your practice? MARGIE: Initially, I created a temporary studio in my living room. I spent my days building smaller components for larger work, mostly out of clay, fabric, and printed paper. After three weeks, I went back into my studio. I've stayed productive throughout the quarantine. I generally spend 8 hours a day immersed in a project, without communicating with the outside world, so quarantining hasn't slowed down my process too much. Red Arrow:  What is the first thing you want to do or place you want to go when the country opens back up again? MARGIE:  I can't wait to go out to a restaurant! I love to cook, but I would love a break from that, sitting back, and just enjoying food, drinks, and conversation with good friends. Red Arrow:  What do you listen to in the studio? MARGIE:   I like to mostly work in silence. My process is like a meditation practice. I work through problems and ideas when I'm building, and inject that into the work, which is much easier to do in silence. Every now and again I turn on some music, maybe once a week for a couple hours. The last music I listed to in the studio was Massive Attack and Yo La Tengo. Red Arrow:  Have you been binge watching any particular shows? MARGIE:   I have not binge watched anything. I lean towards old reruns of Star Trek (original) and 1950's and 60's B-movie sci fi. I love to study the set design. I love when movies use of miniatures to make creatures look bigger, like in Godzilla movies. Red Arrow:  What Virtual Art shows or events have you viewed or taken part in? MARGIE:   I just did a simultaneous Virtual Pop-Up with members of a group I am part of called 'The Chicago Art Girls'.  There's 35 of us. We all coordinated a spring online event at the same time. Usually we would do this at a physical space, but as you know, that's not happening anytime soon. Red Arrow:  What is one word or thought that you would like folks to know or reflect on to feel better, during this time? MARGIE:  Patience.