LSU’s Brittany Sievers has been awarded an artist’s residency at art-st-urban in Switzerland, where she will work closely with world-renowned sculptor Heinz Aeschlimann. Each year, one student is selected from the International Sculpture Center’s Outstanding Student Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Awards for the residency.
Brittany, a third-year graduate student studying sculpture in the LSU School of Art, was awarded the prestigious ISC award in 2015 for her sculpture, 10,656 Palms. More than 158 universities, colleges, and art school sculpture programs from six countries nominated a total of 423 students for the sculpture award. Eighteen recipients and seven honorable mentions were selected through a competitive viewing process of the works submitted. Brittany was chosen as one of the 18 winning sculptors, and subsequently was singled out for the artist’s residency—a great accomplishment and testament to the artistic promise of Brittany’s work.
“I am really excited for this opportunity,” said Brittany. “I’m thankful to Professor Loren Schwerd for nominating me and for writing my recommendation for the residency.”
In spring 2017, Brittany will spend six weeks under the direction of Heinz Aeschlimann, exploring new materials and techniques such as construction and building materials.
According to the International Sculpture Center, “The highly personal contact and stay in the private environment of Heinz and Gertrud Aeschlimann and art-st-urban, the close coaching, the influences and habits of the new environment here in Switzerland as well as the personality of Heinz Aeschlimann as a model and his requirements profile to the young artists all contribute to ensuring that the fellows also pass through a kind of ‘school of life.’”
During the residency, Brittany will be paired with another artist and will have the opportunity to explore a new and unique array of materials. “The other artist is Chinese—so kind of east meets west—I look forward to the opportunity to learn another point of view,” she explained. “I’m a very material-oriented artist, so anytime I can get my hands on something new is very exciting for me.”
At the end of the six-week residency, art-st-urban will host a joint exhibition of the two artists’ work.
Brittany is currently working on installations for her thesis exhibition, which will take place at the Firehouse Gallery, February 14–24, 2017, just before she leaves for her artist’s residency in Switzerland. She said her process work is heavily drawn from social psychologist Ellen Langer’s definition of mindfulness—“the simple act of actively noticing.”
“I utilize space, raw materials, and labor to provide a platform for the audience to begin to notice, thus becoming mindful. Repetitive labor combined with minimalistic aesthetics and site-specific sculptures provide the framework for each piece. These installation objects are designed to focus the viewer’s attention to the details: the area of the room they occupy, the subtle differences within the material itself, and the influence of my individual touch.”
Brittany digs local clay, processes it, and spins her own yarn from wool for each installation and sculpture. This dedicated labor produces individual modules that become large-scale sculptures that fill space—saturating an area between walls, connecting architectural elements, and occupying areas framed by doorways.
“These pieces transform my physical work into a platform that allows the viewer to actively notice,” she added.
For more information about sculpture at LSU, visit art.lsu.edu.