Carolyn Shin is a familiar face in the Epicenter Painting Studio. She has been an unpaid AFH apprentice for the past three years, working five hours a week …and traveling to the EpiCenter from Weston, MA. Big news for Carolyn is that she has been chosen as a 2012 YoungArts Merit Award Winner from more than 5,000 applicants in nine disciplines in the visual, literary and performing arts. Shin is one 271 Merit Award Winners, selected in a blind adjudication process from a pool representing all 50 states and the District of Columbia, as well as all U.S. territories.
In addition to being called, “one of 2012 Best and Brightest Young Artists in the nation,” Carolyn will receive a monetary award! (for more about YoungArts and the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts (NFAA) click here.)
Blog: What inspires you in your paintings?
Carolyn: I discovered that it is essential for me to be always attentive and attuned to the world around me. I have been especially intrigued by the nature of habits so I have studied my own “bad habits” by exploring and mimicking the repetitive, nitty-gritty nature of peeling and scratching through layers of tape, x-acto knives, and sanding paper on wooden panels. Many of my works that depict Bovidae and Cervidae animal species are drawn from the museum’s Horns and Antlers exhibit. My heightened awareness of the workings of habit has led me to see the links between these animals and what is beneath the skin: my childhood experiences, memories, and dreams. Bovidae, Cervidae, darkness, earthy tones — I realized these all have counterparts in my grandparents’ lodge that I visited often as a child.
Blog: How has your experience at Artists For Humanity helped you as an artist?
Carolyn: While I have experienced art as a way to self-discovery, I have also experienced it as an agent of community building and social change. AFH has made me feel that I am increasingly more in conversation with other artists. It is such an honor to work at this unique organization. I have an immense appreciation for what AFH does for talented kids, and for helping me expand my horizons. I am grateful to be at AFH because it gave me new friendships and greater inspiration to pursue the arts.
Blog: What lead you to enter the Young Arts Competition?
Carolyn: During the summer of 2011, the two weeks at the Marie Walsh Sharpe Art Foundation (WMS) program in Colorado Springs turned out to be the most intense and transformative time I had. Only twenty had been selected for this full-scholarship program. While it was very challenging, I was encouraged to apply for the YoungArts Competition. Before coming here I was too afraid to try, but I decided that there was nothing to lose. All of us decided to try.
Blog: What was your reaction to being selected as one of the Best and Brightest Young Artists in the nation?
Carolyn: Honestly, I was very surprised because this competition is known to be almost impossible to gain recognition for. I am just so thankful for this award, and I'm glad that all the hard work paid off! It is a good feeling to get recognition for doing what you are the most passionate about.
Blog: What is next for you?
Carolyn: I'm not quite sure what I want to do exactly, but I do have big dreams: I want to have my own solo exhibition one day, continue exploring my past, and share the transformative potential of art with more communities. Currently, my number one dream is to become an inspirational educator and make a difference in other people’s lives. Art education is extremely important because it leads people to study the bonds between art and its surroundings.
Blog: CONGRATULATIONS Carolyn! You are in inspiration!!