Cathy McClure (Seattle) is an American sculptor and multi-media artist. She is primarily known for creating intricate mechanical pieces out of sterling silver and bronze, however; McClure has always been attracted to multiple disciplines, and often includes multimedia components such as music, strobes and video in her often-kinetic work.
A constant presence in McClure’s artwork has been her preoccupation with mechanical toys and the discrepancy between the public’s perception of an imagined techno-future and that future that we now inhabit. She lives and works in Seattle, Washington and New York City.
We interviewed Cathy about her relationship to risk as a necessary ingredient to artistic practice, what Artist Trust support has meant to her, and why she gives back!
How did you first find out about Artist Trust? What was compelling to you about the work of Artist Trust?
I first heard of Artist Trust when I graduated from UW and was asked to donate an artwork to their auction. It was a great networking opportunity with the added bonus of exposure at a time when I was emerging as an artist in the Pacific Northwest. It gave me an immediate platform for my work to be seen by the community and it was also a way for me to see the work that was being created by my peers. The auction gives artists and art supporters a place to come together and celebrate art and the force of the community that exists around those who make it.
What has Artist Trust support meant to you?
Being rewarded for doing something that I’m compelled to do is fulfilling in so many ways. The Fellowship I received from AT came at a time when I was creating a large installation that wasn’t necessarily the easiest “sell” in a gallery market – but it was a piece I had to make. The recognition and monetary award gave me the push I needed to move forward with the piece.
In addition to funding, how has the AT community been meaningful or beneficial to you, and to other Washington State artists?
Artist Trust nurtures career development. They provide resources for artists who are in various stages of their careers and they have provided me with a vast range of support throughout my growth as an artist. AT has given me exposure and encouragement while simultaneously equipping me with opportunities for expression, discourse and shared cultural experiences. Artist Trust has helped me to become more aware of my own civic responsibility.
During this appeal, we’re focusing on the role of risk in artistic practice. What has risk meant to you?
Those who are curious take risks. Without risk there is no discovery or invention and no way to move forward with new ideas. Risk to me means success.
How does support from Artist Trust and other organizations/communities make risk possible for you?
When artists create it’s inherently risky because the path to success for an artist can be quite murky and obscure. Taking a risk is easier when others acknowledge that what you do is vital to society. When an organization recognizes artists for their successes, that builds a stronger cultural community and inspires social responsibility in us all. We all need validation and support from each other.
You’ve supported Artist Trust as an auction art donor and auction guest. What motivates you to give back to Artist Trust?
I want to support others in the way that I have been supported. Knowing that Artist Trust will use the funds they receive from a work I’ve donated or an artwork I’ve bought makes me feel as if I’m contributing to the strength of our community.
What would you say to someone who is considering a gift to Artist Trust?
Art helps to strengthen community by enhancing our understanding of each other and the world in which we live. Artist Trust is dedicated to nurturing those who are responsible for making art that is essential to life. A contribution to Artist Trust is a contribution to us all.
There are just a few days left in our spring campaign to join Cathy in supporting artists like…well, Cathy! Make your gift today.