Kathryn Anderson Dintenfass

Marylyn was a very clear, organized and methodical artist.  When I walked down to the second row of the auditorium I was one of four people there.  Two of whom I came with.  It was obvious that this was going to be an intimate setting.  Dintenfass walked over to every person in the room, asked them their name, interest in art and what they were doing in Boulder or at the lecture that night.  I enjoyed that the setting, it was very personal although, I wish more people had attended because she was a really interesting artist with practical advice and knowledge to share. 

She explained the difference between commissioned and personal work.  Although commissioned work can be rewarding because of the money and how you know that you still get to create art as a living, it can become extremely restrictive and time consuming when you need to produce a piece for deadline and a customer.  Dintenfass described how lots of her work started to be seen in lobbies and entrances to buildings and organizations and how this was hard for her because she started to feel pigeon hold.  Other people who wanted pieces for their lobby were the only ones hiring her.  This is when she entered a stage of her art where she only did art that she was inspired to do and than sold it if she really wanted to but, the main way she earned a living was renting out studio space.  Lots of people need a community space to make art and Dintenfass figure out a way to organize that.  This may seem like unrelated information to her art but I really appreciated being told about her journey to a place of financial stability where she gets to complete art for herself.

Moving towards more of the art itself, I felt connected to her work and methods immediately.  I really liked the way that she worked in modules and liked to work in a little pieces to than finally reach the big picture. Ceramics, printmaking and painting were only some of mediums that she elaborated on, but Dintenfass truly explores many avenues of mediums and expression.  Her work with ceramics follows her modules idea, starting with smaller tiles and than arranging them to create a larger piece.

An example of this is a modular piece she designed for a transportation center.  She had to follow their rules of dimension for the wall she was going to mount it on but than she had the freedom from there to pick color and design.  She explained how she had so many meetings with various committee members and ended up meeting with one of the cleaning staff all the time because he was going to be the one to mount the work.  Hearing details like this about her work made me appreciate her so much more because she told us about the truth and the grunt work.  It was not all this magical time when there was just art flowing from her hands.  Understanding how much working goes into being an artist is important and necessary before committing yourself to that life.

The most interesting aspects of her work was how large her work became.  Because she worked so small in the beginning and than transformed the small pieces into works that covered the entire page.  I was really influenced by this.  She did one piece that was commissioned by Ft Myers in Florida to create a covering for the outside of a parking garage that air could still get in and out of.  She used a special mesh like material with weatherproof ink that printed her drawings that were inspired by cars.  These flaps of mesh material are so big that they cover a football field when all rolled out.  She used rich vibrant colors that really drew the attention of people passing by.  She grew up loving cars and was influenced by their design and pattern.  She liked that they were reliable and could get her to where ever she need to go.  Cars were a good base to pick shapes from.  Dintenfass used that variety of color in conjunction with different shapes like circles, and wavy lines.

Overall I think her work was effective because on a small scale looking at one tile or large scale looking at a huge wall of her work, each was beautiful and could stand alone.  I found the way that she worked and her method and reasoning behind her work to be very inspiring.

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