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Interview with Illumine Artist Stefanie Wardrep

Illumine 2024
1. Interview with Illumine Artist David Muehlenkamp
2. Interview with Illumine Artist Stefanie Wardrep

We’re so pleased to be hosting Stefanie Wardrep as one of our featured artists at Illumine 2024! Check out Stefanie’s interview below to learn more about her artistic process, background, and installation.

View Stefanie’s installation at Illumine 2024! Get your tickets here.

Please tell us a little about yourself and your background as an artist.

I am a visual artist/designer/printmaker based in Atlanta GA. I grew up in Atlanta and after time away in New York I’m so happy to be back home. I have a background in printmaking and design and my creative process often involves hand painted elements and letterpress printing. For the last eight years, I have designed paper goods, greeting cards and gifts exploring colors and textures and I’ve been finding fulfillment making art that helps people connect to others and themselves.

What or who has been an influence on your work and career?

Most of my work, both visual and written is inspired by the people and experiences in my life. I find inspiration everywhere from the colors of nature to a nice patina on a building or the way shadows and light change the world around us. My relationships with my people and experiences in their lives and mine inspire the sentiments I base my artwork around. Sometimes this is something light and funny and other times it will inspire me to find a way to simplify life’s hardest moments so that we can connect to each other and feel less alone.

Can you talk a little bit about what inspired your proposed installation for this year?

If I am honest, this installation was inspired by loss. When I read the theme “Out of the Shadows” I immediately thought of the darkness of grief. I lost my sweet father last year and instantly thought of what it could be like to physically send him messages. What could that look like as a community exercise? I wanted to create a place where anyone experiencing grief or loss of any kind could bring that out into the light in a tactile way. From that came the idea for “Left Unsaid,” a place where our grief, in whatever form, can move from the darkness and into the light.

What can viewers expect when visiting, observing, and interacting with your piece?

You will see obelisk inspired structures lit in a way that invites you to come to a table and spend time writing a message that will help you take any grief you may be carrying out into the light. You can then insert the message card into a mail slot found on some of the obelisks to be sent metaphorically into the light. (Note: messages will remain private) This is not limited to just loss of a person close to you, grief has many sources, we grieve past versions of ourselves, friends, dreams, pets, what we see happening in the world. The list goes on because suffering comes along with living. It becomes unmanageable when we carry it alone in the shadows. This installation is an offering to bring that out into the light.


Learn more about Stefanie:

Instagram: @tack_and_ward



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