Craftswomanship, Elegant Problems, and Relationships: Linda Popp

Karen Carroll: I was pretty psyched to see you and your studio presented in the final print edition of BmoreArt, and much more than delighted to have a conversation with you suitable below! Hunting at your operates in development, I’m reminded of approaches from our time teaching. We both equally admired Barry Shauck (then the Howard County Supervisor for the Visible Arts). He would engage artists to give workshops to teachers primarily based on their exercise, and then challenged teachers to generate classroom jobs motivated by that artist.

You posted an report about the knowledge of inviting Ed Smith, an artist making assemblage clocks, to your significant faculty art class. Based on Smith’s work, you posed a instead “elegant problem,” to borrow a phrase from Dr. Sandra Kay, to your college studentsone particular that would utilize broadly to all college students, depart a lot of area for elaboration, encourage originality, and previously mentioned all, guide to “elegant” remedies stuffed with individual that means. As an art educator, you realized you had to “test” the dilemma yourself so you would have a prototype to share with students—and this seemed to lead you in the direction of your current get the job done.

Linda Popp: The problem I presented to the students was: Generate a pendulum clock that uses the symbolism of identified objects to make a portrait of a particular person with whom you have experienced a lengthy-term partnership. My to start with prototype was about my mother, and I immediately grew to become hooked on the course of action. So, just about every calendar year I made a new prototype for the lesson. (When the college students came in the doorway in September they’d be asking if this was the course exactly where they get to make a clock!) Ultimately I felt I required to expand my theme from an particular person man or woman to other associations, so I went beyond “portraits.”

How have your work’s themes and forms advanced around time? Does the concept of an exhibition you have been invited to impact your do the job? How do you respond to demonstrating with some others who are operating with the exact concept as you?

My “big idea” is often interactions. Topics have included loved ones, love, religion, character, self, self (woman), and position. And yes, themes have progressed dependent on what’s likely on in my lifestyle or the world about me. For instance, a friend’s spouse handed away, prompting me to believe about dealing with dropped adore. Now currently being a “woman of a certain age,” I’m discovering suggestions of female splendor.


Embrace You As You Are, 2022, Classic compact, collectible figurines, pearls, lipstick, jewellery, doily, bobbin, and so forth.


Growing older has also motivated my reflection on legacy, and working day-to-day gratefulness. The COVID shutdown influenced my Mother nature sequence as my exercise switched to jogging outside. Moving brought about me to replicate on areas I have regarded as residence and to take a look at my Relationship with Put. My Relationship with Adore series has progressed from thinking about becoming in appreciate with a person particular person (which I am) to loving and supporting all people (perhaps prompted by present situations).

The sorts my work usually takes have progressed as very well. A number of decades later on a good friend challenged me to produce an assemblage sculpture that wasn’t a clock, which I had problems doing. When the Maryland Federation of Artwork known as for entries to a nationwide show titled Tiny Miracles, the maximum dimensions was 11 inches. As I could not make a pendulum clock that modest, I was forced to endeavor a tiny sculpture. So, exhibits or their themes can be motivational tools that inspire and problem new perform. Now I love working huge or little, free-standing or aid sculptures, assemblages, and lately even collage.

As for how exhibitions could possibly affect the direction of my get the job done, I search to see wherever my get the job done could possibly “fit” following the point. Towson Arts Collective has month-to-month themed reveals. Sometimes I have get the job done that suits, and from time to time I do not.

I do consider viewing the perform of other artists in a themed exhibit as an possibility to learn. It is so fascinating to see distinctive artists’ responses to the similar thought. I also really like to watch other operates produced with identified objects and assemblage approaches to analyze supplies and craftsmanship.


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