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Meet Dana Hargrove through new VoyageHouston Interview!

Meet Dana Hargrove

Today we’d like to introduce you to Dana Hargrove.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours? While completing my BFA in Scotland, I was recruited, along with several other students, to attend Southern Illinois University. It was funny to travel 4000 miles across the Atlantic, to a small university town in the middle of Illinois, to complete an MFA alongside so many Scottish artists! My decision to uproot was a difficult one, but it ultimately paid off. Grad-school became one of the best experiences of my life and fostered much-needed courage and confidence within my art and myself. After returning home to Scotland post-graduation, I ended up making the final decision to emigrate to the USA. I subsequently became a professor of studio art and have been teaching and making art, with a base in Orlando, Florida, ever since.

Please tell us about your art. I am continually intrigued by manmade interventions on the land, both physical and conceptual. As an idea-based artist who is not too worried about the distinctions of medium, I have employed a variety of approaches in my art, allowing myself a certain freedom within my practice. Painting will always be the familiar touchstone for my ideas and is the medium I love to return to.

My work deals with the landscape as an intriguing and shifting conceptual entity. In Scotland a lot of my work involved site-specific interventions. My work these days is linked to the connections I make within the landscape, which, I hope, tap into a universal truth. I am still searching for an understanding of my position in space, place, community, and nation; and my art reflects that continual questioning.

As an artist, how do you define success and what quality or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist? There are so many ways to be successful as an artist. For me, my work is a lifelong practice where I measure my own success by the development of the critical thinking that surrounds the themes I explore. I try to locate my work within the larger context of contemporary art by staying informed and challenging my presumptions. In doing so I end up having a fruitful studio experience, which to me is the first stage of success. The next stage is being a professional: trying to get my work out there, which requires dogged diligence, just like any other profession.

Generally, hard work pays off and you become a trusted professional in your field over time. The artist who is professional, works hard, is on time and thorough, and is a kind person, is the one who is successful in my eyes. This is how I aspire to be and how I define success.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work? You can see my work at Dean Day Gallery in Houston at the moment, where one of my ‘Strip’ series is installed. I also exhibit through the Bridgette Mayer Gallery in Philadelphia, and Snap! Galleries Orlando. People can follow me on Instagram, for a behind the scenes view of works in progress.

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