Artemis, Tina Guldhammer Frei

Sacred Space is the realm of Student Leadership that tends to the artistic and ordinary spaces of Mars Hill Graduate School in hopes of opening up space for our community to rest, wrestle, and play. A practical manifestation of this work is found in the art galleries on the second and third floors, which highlight the work of local artists as well as alumni and current students. Our second floor gallery currently features the work of Tina Frei in a collection entitled Re-Placing Nature: Visual Art And the Recovery of Sacred Space.

Tina is a native of eastern Washington. She grew up in the Walla Walla valley, a landscape that has greatly influenced her artistic vision. Frei recently completed a Masters in Theology and the Arts at Fuller Theological Seminary. This collection is a part of her Masters Thesis project, which examined the loss of sacred natural space in Western culture.

Sacred Space had a chance to ask Tina about her artistic process and her current show at MHGS:

Sacred Space: How do you begin and how do you know when it is done?

Hidden, Tina Guldhammer Frei

Tina Frei: I usually begin by drawing. Often times I’ll find a photograph that has lines or forms that interest me, so I start with those and layer paint over top. Sometimes the drawing gets completely covered and other times the piece ends up more a mix of the two. One of my challenges is knowing when to stop and when to keep going.

SS: Do you get stuck? What do you do when that happens?

TF: I do get stuck sometimes. When this happens it’s usually because I’ve started to over-think things and edit too much, and it feels more like work than play. When this happens I usually just need to stop and come back to it later, or start on something else. Sometimes I never come back to a piece.

SS: How does your process intersect with other parts of your life?

Red Fence, Tina Guldhammer Frei

TF: I create pieces based on what’s around me. Because photography has become such an integral part of my current process, my art tends to reflect things that are interesting and meaningful in my life. Lately I’ve been reflecting a lot on the meaning of place and land, so my process has actually taken me to places I might not have ventured out to otherwise.

SS: Why do you paint? Given that this is your doctoral work, how do your words and your images relate to each other? Does one or the other hold more meaning for you?

TF: I’ve been drawing and painting for as long as I can remember. It’s the best form of expression I have. My words are the second-best form. Of course, not everyone experiences my pieces the way I do, so sometimes words are necessary. Something I like specifically about the act of drawing and painting is how physical and primal it is.

SS: Tell us about this body of work. Does it represent a certain period of time?

Shed On A Hill, Tina Guldhammer Frei

TF: This work represents a period of time in which I was living in the LA area. I grew up in the Northwest, and I felt greatly displaced moving down there in a way that affected even my spirituality. I realized how much of this feeling had to do with my displacement from the physical landscape of the Northwest. I wanted to explore the idea of sacred places in the land, and how our relationship with the land affects us as human beings.
You can view Tina Frei’s work during MHGS business hours throughout the Fall trimester.

Posted in Artistry, Spirituality at October 18th, 2010. Trackback URI: trackback