INTERVIEW: Carolyn Hopkins

Danielle Kelly is an artist and writer based in Las Vegas, Nevada. Kelly’s project-based practice ranges from installation to performance and has been featured in solo and group exhibitions in Los Angeles, Seattle, Las Vegas, San Francisco, and Portland. Kelly’s writing has appeared in such regional publications as Las Vegas Weekly and Desert Companion. Kelly is the Executive Director and Curator of the Neon Museum. She has done a series of interviews with artists with ties to Las Vegas for celebration of our music issue.


What is your relationship to sound in the studio? What is your relationship to music in the studio?

In studio, I like to bounce between quiet contemplation and noisy making. Once I’ve figured something out and I’m in the stage of actually fabricating it, I want music. Before I get to that point, I like to have solitude and to meditate on my surroundings and thoughts. Music activates a space in a way that gives it a charge, and that helps me when I need to get something done.

What, if anything, is in heavy rotation in your studio right now?

Oh gosh, because I am headed to Caldera (residency) next week I will take soft things with me. Caldera is located out in the woods, way up at a high elevation, it will be snowing. I’ll probably want some sweet and subtle music to work by: Gillian Welch, Nick Drake, Bon Iver, JJ Cale, Band Of Horses Live at the Ryman, Andrew Bird, and given the time of year … Charlie Brown Christmas.

What would be your desert island studio record?

Damn it, that is so hard. I’m trying to think back to what has probably been most-listened to while I make … I’m going to have to go with The Live Band of Horses album, I love it so much. I don’t know that I would ever get tired of it.

Carolyn Hopkins lives and works in Portland, OR. She graduated with an MFA in Sculpture from the Cranbrook Academy of Art and a BFA in interdisciplinary arts from the Kansas City Art Institute. Her work questions the traditional cultural roles of the feminine and masculine as well as the tamed and untamed and creates outposts from which to reexamine a recognizable terrain. Her studio practice is an ongoing expedition into familiar territories in search of new frontiers from which to draw. Carolyn’s work has been shown nationally and internationally and has been featured in publications including Sculpture Magazine. She has collaborated on projects with Mark Dion and Spurse, is an active member of the Minnesota Association of Rogue Taxidermy. See more of her work here.


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