This is the second in a four-part series spotlighting Chatham County Emerging Artist Grant recipients for 2014. The Emerging Artists Program is a project grant program that provides financial support to developing or established professionals by funding a project pivotal to the advancement of their careers as artists.
Ann Corley Silverman is a Chatham County artist who specializes in making paper from the paper mulberry, an invasive tree found in her own backyard. Ann will use the Emerging Artist grant to build an outdoor fiber arts kitchen increasing her “Tin Porch Paper” studio and opening the possibility of giving paper making workshops in the near future. Ann will had a studio showing in May 2014 at ArtSpace in Raleigh where you can check out her incredible paper art creations. We sat down with Ann to learn more about her paper passion and what inspires her connection with paper art.
What is your first memory of creating art?
Drawing horses as a kid- I was a horse crazy kid.
Where does your creative inspiration come from?
It comes from our place in the natural world and our connection to it.
What tends to be your favorite subject matter?
Of course plant fibers and most recently mushrooms, worms and RE-composition. When these natural phenomena interact they create and form art.
Briefly describe your creative process and technique.
Well I’m kind of all over the place. It starts with being curious about how things work as well as my love for paper, fabric, and wood fibers. All of that feeds into what goes on in my head when I’m creating.
What are your goals for your art?
It is to focus my energies on reveal relationships that will help to protect the woods that for this brief period are under my care, so that my grandchildren and everyone’s grandchildren will have natural spaces to explore. If I can do this by digging and planting and art making I will be happy. Papermaking is an open-ended art form and I want to be able to share a little bit of the magic with other people.
What I the best piece of advice you’ve been given as an artist?
Honor one’s process — take it seriously and give it its due.
What is your dream project?
Living, making, and doing are a dream project, and creativity and dreams transpire through this process.
The Emerging Artists Program is funded through grants from the North Carolina Arts Council, a division of the Department of Cultural Resources. and The Mary Duke Biddle Foundation, the Orange County Arts Commission, the Granville Arts Council, the Person County Arts Council, the Chatham County Arts Council, gifts to the Durham Arts Council Annual Arts Fund, the Ella Fountain Pratt Fund, the Ruth Carver Fund, the Wainwright Fund for New Works and by private & corporate donations.