The Desert Leaf
“L’Art Pour L’Art”
By Lorraine A. Darconte
Tucson is a city that gives back to the community, whether it’s groceries for the food bank or clothing for under-privileged children. One local charity, Southern Arizona Aids Foundation (SAAF), considers itself blessed to have the support of many local artists who donate work to its annual Jerome Baillard Festival for Life fund-raiser, to be held Sunday, Nov.18, in the University of Arizona Student Union Ballroom.
Carrie Seid, an art teacher at the University of Arizona, is a trained textile designer with a BFA from the Rhode Island School of Design. “When I first got out of college, I worked in and around the textile trade designing woven fabrics for Burlington Industries in New York City. But I always felt a pull toward fine-art work,” recalls Seid. At the time, she was dating a glass artist and spent considerable time with other glass and ceramic artists.
“I was really influenced by my glass friends,” says Seid, who eventually attended graduate school at the Cranbrook Academy of Art. “I studied with Gerhardt Knodel, a really important mentor in the development of this trajectory of work. He pointed out to me that I seemed to be interested in light, and why didn’t I use light as a material?”
“So I began to layer translucent and reflective material that came out of the kitchen drawer, like wax paper and tin foil- anything I could get my hands on that I could tear, shape and make layered pieces out of. . . What started out as tin foil and wax paper evolved into sheet copper and silk.
“I want my work to have an emotional resonance that’s similar to that of music. I equate my use of color with the way a musician might change chords, and I want the deepening and saturation of color to evoke feelings in the viewer that can’t be expressed in words.
“I donate artwork because it’s a very gratifying way for me to raise money for that cause in a positive environment. It’s also something I can afford to do. Last year my piece sold for $1,100, and that’s not an amount I myself could donate,” concludes Seid, “but I was so happy to raise that amount of money as a surrogate.”