Alabama Artist Visits is a series of artist visits that showcase visual artists working around Alabama. Photographs of and interviews with a new artist will be posted regularly and past visits will be archived below.
This series will highlight some of the incredible talent of Alabama artists, but also delve into the processes and inspiration behind the work and the physical environment where the art is created.
All photographs made by Visual Arts Program Manager Elliot Knight.
Where were you born? Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Where do you live now? Taft, TN and secondary Huntsville, AL
What is an early memory of an arts experience that influenced you?
Watching a jeweler craving wax models inside his store window at his bench. I was around 8 years old. Also, having 6 art teachers in a public high school.
When did you decide to pursue art as a career and what has that experience been like for you?
During high school I took an art metals class, and love it! Went to college graduated with BFA, then pursued electrical engineering…spent a summer working at Denali National Park, AK and that experience changed me life…came home and pursued my passion! Metals. Now for some 30 years!
How did the receipt of an ASCA Fellowship impact your career?
First a great honor to receive it! Also, allowed me to take workshops with world-class teachers to continue to expand my techniques and knowledge.
Where do you find inspiration for your work?
Nature and architectural forms. But mostly just having time to experiment and create in my studio.
Tell us a little about your process of turning an idea into a finished artwork?
Well, I have a vision, which could happen at 1am in the morning! I then create time to experiment and let the piece of work flow out of me. It’s fun!
What is the relationship between the physical studio space and the artwork?
My studio reflects my spirit, which helps me feel at peace while creating my work. My studio/space allows magic to happen!
What about materials; tell us about the materials you use in your work and why you choose to work with those in particular.
I know metal…how it works…so I use it! If I need to make a special ring for someone…I use platinum and 18k gold. If I am just artistically playing I combine many different materials to achieve my work. E.g. Re-purposed material, silver and glacial till.
Are there any common misconceptions people have about your work or questions that people always ask you?
“How long does it take you to make that?” I tell them 35 years. (Because I have been honing my skills, exploring my creative ideas for that long.)
Do you have any advice for young artists who are considering pursuing art as a full-time career?
Love what you do… take some kind of marketing and business classes to help you know the not so fun side of making your work, if you want to sell it! Always continue to learn and grow.
What about the general public; is there anything you wish everyone knew and understood about art in general or your work in particular?
How grateful I am to be able to do what I love and bring joy to others. It also takes quite, focused time to do my work, so I limit my public hours. I enjoy people, but I also enjoy doing my work. It fills my soul.
Where can people see your work?
At my wonderful studio at Historic Lowe Mill, Studio 121, in Huntsville, AL and my website: Connieulrich.com
Past Artist Visits
To see interviews and photographs with other artists, click here.