2015 SWIC Art Faculty Show – Interview #6

Our exhibition of artwork by the art faculty of Southwestern Illinois College is now open through February 26th. Sculpture, painting, ceramics, drawing, digital images, photography, and mixed media all show the diversity and talent of the faculty artists. 

The faculty is not spared from our intern Kailey’s interviews. Below, Shawn Niebruegge answers her questions.

Shawn Niebruegge's "Cup of Water", pastel

Shawn Niebruegge’s “Cup of Water”, pastel

When did you know the arts were what you wanted to do, long-term?
I started falling in love with art in high school.  In college, I was pursuing psychology for the first couple years before I decided to dive completely into art.

What inspires you the most?
Fear.

What is your current favorite medium?
Oil paint with copal medium.

When you’re working, what do you listen to, if anything?
I have a huge collection of music; I put on what suits my mood. Often it is something that makes me move: grunge, thrash, punk, techno, etc. My all time favorite for the darkroom is Aphex Twin’s “Selected Ambient Works, Volume II”, and for painting/drawing it’s Mystery Machine’s “Glazed”.

What piece are you most proud of? 
My graduate thesis work remains a strong body of work after all these years. It was shown originally in 2000.

Not to be morbid, but what would you like to be remembered for?
I have no idea. Most of the time I prefer not to be noticed.

Have you ever regretted making something and showing it?
All the time. I experiment a lot; what seems good at the moment has more to do with the experience of making it than does it mean the work is actually good.  I prefer to live with a piece for a bit before I show it; it gives me time to figure out if it’s worth showing.  I don’t always get that opportunity.

What is the best comment you’ve ever received?
“People are going to want to kill you for what you do.”

The worst?
Silence.

Shawn Niebruegge's "Pillar of Fire", colored pencil

Shawn Niebruegge’s “Pillar of Fire”, colored pencil

What would you like to accomplish within the next five years?
Mainly, more art works.  I have recently been revisiting the work that made up my graduate thesis show and hope to show an expanded version of it.  There was a lot of work that was made in the run up to it, and a lot that was made in the years after.  So little of it has ever been seen.  It is a body of work that spans 20+ years.

What’s your go-to snack when you’re working?
Does tea count? There’s always tea!

If you could be anyone (Seriously, anyone. Past/present/future/nonexistent/existent. You get the idea.) who would you be and why?
A better version of myself. I don’t know who else to be.  I like who I am, but I’ve certainly done many things I wish I hadn’t.

Thanks again to Shawn for answering our questions!

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