We had the good fortune of connecting with Emily Potts and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Emily, what led you to pursuing a creative path professionally?
I did not originally see myself pursuing a professional or academic art career, but after exploring many other avenues art always found its way back to me. I was always scared of the instability that being an artist brings, but I realize after seeing peers and mentors being self-sustainable and even successful that I should not let that fear guide my future. Talking about art and making art feels like the most natural way of communicating and expressing myself, I truly love to be apart of conversations in the contemporary art world and hope to keep pursuing my dream.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I would describe my artwork as rough, raw, expressional, and intuition-guided. I have always worked this way and feel less interested in my work if it is too polished or ornamental. Right now I primarily use ceramics, acrylic, fabric and textile, silicone, and bubblegum in my work. I am interested in exploring chronic and underdiagnosed diseases in the body, I use sculpture and painting to do that. I am inspired by contemporary artists such as Allison Shulnik, Red Grooms, Trenton Doyle Hancock, and Nicole Eisenman. I am currently a second-year MFA graduate student at UNT, it is a three-year program and I am now embarking on my final year. UNT offers the amazing opportunity to teach foundation-level and introduction courses in specific disciplines. I have found through this program that I not only love to make art but I also love teaching it, and helping students problem-solve not only technical skills but also talking about the student’s specific interest and philosophies within their own work. I hope to continue teaching at the college level after I graduate as well as explore and expand my own body of work.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I have not lived in this area long, but the best cake I have ever had in my life was the pineapple cake (only sold during the summer) at Bread Winners Cafe located at 3301 Mckinney Ave in Uptown Dallas. This amazing cake pairs nicely with a visit to the Nasher Sculpture Center, which is only 7 minutes away!
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
The network of artists and friends that inspire me are my husband, who is also an artist- Thomas Petty IG: thomas.petty.art, my friend and peer Kaitlin West IG: kaitlin.west.art and my Professor Alicia Eggert IG: aplaceintheuniverse.