An interview of Joey Kirkpatrick conducted 2005 August 17-18, by Lloyd E. Herman, for the Archives of American Art's Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America, at the artist's home and studio, which she shares with Flora Mace, in Seattle, Washington.
Ms. Kirkpatrick discusses her childhood in Des Moines, Iowa, as the third daughter among four; her early interest in art and, beginning in fifth grade, working at the Des Moines Art Center; her mother's creativity and love for art and design; visiting her aunt Elaine in Chicago and attending adult classes at the Art Institute of Chicago; seeing an Egon Schiele show at the Des Moines Art Center and its influence on her; her sense, even at an early age, that she was going to be an artist; going to college at the University of Iowa and getting a BFA in drawing; working in ceramics at the University of Iowa and studying under her mentor, Howard Ragovin; beginning to make sculptures out of chicken wire and papier-mâché and becoming interested in three-dimensional forms and planes; her most profound artistic influences, including Arthur Dove, Georgia O'Keeffe, Alexander Calder, and Alberto Giacometti; meeting Steven Dale Edwards during her last year in college and learning how to blow glass from him; blowing glass at a facility geared towards ceramic engineers at Iowa State University in Ames, Iowa, after college; working at the Art Center throughout and continuing to paint while living with her grandmother; working at a daycare center where she functioned as an art therapist; seeing an advertisement in Craft Horizons magazine for Pilchuck Glass School; working as a tree topper in Des Moines to get the money to go to Pilchuck; showing up at Pilchuck with an armful of her drawings; meeting Flora Mace, her collaborator and life partner, at Pilchuck; how the two eventually came to collaborate and cosign their work; and how they work together. A more in-depth discussion of the pair's lifelong collaboration is discussed in a joint interview of Kirkpatrick and Mace. Kirkpatrick also recalls Byron Burford, Peggy Patrick, Reba Cohen, Mark Doty, Jim Demetrion, Dale Chihuly, Chuck Hinds, Italo Scanga, Bill Morris, Ben Moore, Sylvia Vigeletti, Audrey Handler, and Lino Tagliapetra, and others.
Biographical / Historical:
Joey Kirkpatrick (1952- ) is a glass artist from Seattle, Washington. Lloyd E. Herman (1936- ) is a curator and former director of the Smithsonian American Art Museum's Renwick Gallery of Art and is currently from Seattle, Washington.
Originally recorded on 2 sound discs. Reformatted in 2010 as 2 digital wav files. Duration is 2 hr., 2 min.
This interview is part of the Archives of American Art Oral History Program, started in 1958 to document the history of the visual arts in the United States, primarily through interviews with artists, historians, dealers, critics and administrators.
Funding for this interview was provided by the Nanette L. Laitman Documentation Project for Craft and Decorative Arts in America.
Funding for the digital preservation of this interview was provided by a grant from the Save America's Treasures Program of the National Park Service.