If there's one reason we love instagram, it's for the ease of scrolling through curated pieces of art done by our favorite artists. Kerri Mulcare is an amazing example of this. Her feed, @wildflowerblues, provides a daily dose of inspiration and beauty. We reached out to Kerri to hear more about what she creates.
COMMUNE - How did you get into art? What kind of art do you create?
KM - I do a lot of collage and mixed media work. I like to explore different things and don’t necessarily try to limit myself to one style. I definitely always come back to collage though. I’m currently finishing my BFA in Print, Paper, Book Arts from the Minneapolis College of Art & Design and I’m really interested in how I can incorporate my current practice with print making and book arts. I’ve been interested in art and making from a very early age. It’s the one thing that I liked above all other things in school. I would often get in trouble for drawing during times when I was supposed to be reading etc. I’ve always been a day dreamer and I loved, and still love, to draw and paint.
I used to spend hours, from the age of about 7 to around 11, sitting in my “fort” behind my parent’s recliner in their living room jamming to bad 90s pop and cutting things out of magazines to paste in a notebook. I had volumes of them. They were all images of what I wanted my life to look like when I grew up. My friend and I started these notebooks together and we would have competitions to see who could cut around the images we chose with the most precision. I would say this honed my eye for detail and kick started my love for found imagery. I started exploring collage pretty heavily in 2008/2009 and its just continued to be a part of my practice since.
C - Why are you passionate? What inspires you? What message do you try and communicate through your art?
KM - Making art isn’t just something I do for fun, it’s a huge part of who I am. I need to do it to survive and stay sane. It’s a necessity, like eating or breathing. I draw my inspiration from many places, including but not limited to: the natural world, history, storytelling, poetry, music, old photographs, vintage/antique anything, found imagery, color, form, pattern, fleeting moments, loss, memory/the unconscious, and dreams. I’m not necessarily sure if my work has a message that I always try to get across. For me it’s about the process of finding the images, patterns and colors that fit together to create something entirely different. It’s also a way for me to explore and process my inner and outer mental/emotional landscape as well as the world around me.
Kerri's style of collage is simple and elegant, using layering large images together to draw connections between them. She usually uses elements of wildlife, placing them over human figures or surrounding isolated body parts. She also implements blocks of text, giving a sense of timelessness and adding powerful keywords.
Kerri is also another inspiring tobacco-quitter. We appreciated her honesty when she told us about her relationship with tobacco and how she overcame addiction:
C - Why is living tobacco-free important to you?
MC - I smoked as a teenager and on into my early 20s, but quit after general physical activity became difficult and I didn’t feel “well” anymore. My father also passed away from lung cancer due to tobacco and it’s a heartbreaking way to watch someone pass from a disease that could have been prevented. I try to stay as active as I can now and savor my easy breathing.
Kerri will be featured in a few upcoming shows! Catch her at Forager Brewer in Rochester, MN in their "Pop Up" Kitchen gallery space now until September. You can meet her yourself at Kerri's 'Artists' Reception' on August 20th from 4PM - 6PM!
When she's not creating, you can find Kerri exploring the NE Minneapolis neighborhood, seeing a cheap movie at St. Anthony Main Theater, sipping coffee or hunting for more old magazines to beautify.
Thanks for all you do, Kerri! ♡