Interview by Amanda Thiel
As some of our organizers are also participating artists, we decided to switch things up to kick off a new year of making and focus on some of the people behind the scenes. You know you want to take a moment and get to know Colleen Master! A print maker, mixed media artist, second year participant, and a first time organizer with Delaware Fun-A-Day.
How did you get introduced to Delaware Fun-A-Day?
My sister, Sheila, and I are both artists and went to college together. She was a participant and then became a volunteer organizer. I decided last year to be a participating artist.
What drove you to become an organizer this year?
I really wanted to be an organizer. I saw in prior years that the organizers not only volunteered their time and talents, but one year, it was fully paid for by the volunteers as well. I donated last year, but wanted to do more this year. So, I took on the fundraising responsibilities with another organizer. I like the idea of a community show that is not run or juried by a gallery and that is open to all ages. I'd like to help make it sustainable. I want to do it again next year!
How long have you been making art? Do you remember what got you started?
A neighbor that took care of me after school was an artist and she brought me to lessons as a child. I think I was 4. Once I moved to DE, I kept making things on my own. I remember I was really into shaving crayons onto glue designs in 5th grade, ha-ha.
What is your preferred medium? Any additional media you like to work with?
Well, printmaking is preferred, but I do not have access to any presses. So, I do a lot of mixed media now, and some simple prints, mostly Lino cuts. I would like to work more with found objects.
What kind of themes do you like to pursue in your work?
I do enjoy portraits, and abstract work. I mostly explore mixing mediums and texture is always a big theme. I'm not sure why I am drawn to creating texture, and I'm ok with not knowing. I always loved collage, and use my prints as collage material, since there are always multiples!
What influences your work?
My past projects influence my work a great deal. My senior thesis and show was about this. I saw how past work and those concepts and techniques were popping up in my current work in some form or fashion. I tend use the same basis and play with the similar processes, always developing and refining it. I am really process oriented, the final product never holds much value to me. I'm over the piece by the time I'm done with it usually. For this reason, I tend to give my work away, or it sits in a closet,
This is your second year participating in Delaware Fun-A-Day, what first interested you in the event and what made you come back?
I was inspired by the work I had seen in prior years. The challenge of one thing per day appealed to me too. It's great motivation for me since I rarely make the time to create new work.
What can we expect to see from you this year at Delaware Fun-A-Day?
I am hoping to do the project I intended to do last year, but I may need to change it, due to size. It's a mixed media project that incorporates found objects. My back up project is a texture - a - day with paint.
What words of wisdom do you have for our first year participants?
Planning is important. Thinking about the display space and how you want your work displayed is key. Space is limited and the size restrictions are important. Last year I had photos, they were not matted and I ended up applying magnets to them to place on a metal wall. I spent money getting them printed professionally ( I'm not a photographer) and realized the photos would either get a pin pushed through them or magnets attached. I think I choose the lesser of two evils. But I wish I had planned better!
Did you run into any other challenges with your experience last year?
First I had to change my project. I had to have surgery and could not move around much for the first part of the month. I didn't want to drop out, so I took photos with my phone of my scar healing. The quality was not what I would have hoped for, and the subject matter was not something I ever thought to display, but I put it out there! Trying to make sure my work fit the size restrictions last year, was another challenge. Since it's a community show with a lot of participants, I tried to keep that in mind. That was a struggle for me since I was used to being free to create work in any size. As a printmaking major in college, my department was small, so our gallery shows allowed for no size restrictions. It was a rewarding challenge.
How can people help make Delaware Fun-A-Day a success this year and the years to come?
Others can help by making donations! Donate online and / or in the DE Fun-A-Day donation box at that will accompany the work this year!