Born in New York to parents with deep roots in the Midvalley, artist Constance Denchy has made Jessup her home since 2005. The multidisciplinary fine artist shares her inspirations and what’s next for her.
Q: How long have you been an artist?
A: My short answer would be as long as I can remember; however, my career as a professional artist began 33 years ago when I graduated from the University of the Arts in May of 1987, with a bachelor of fine arts. As students, we were encouraged to explore an amalgam of materials. From roughly 1983 to to 2007 the medium I preferred was paint. It is the medium I received a state fellowship for in 1996 from the Delaware Division of the Arts. However, in the summer of 2008, the NEIU19 hired me as a state roster artist to teach a mixed media class for Arts Alive. This was when my preferred medium literally became anything. I never limited myself as an artist after that summer but, truth be known, paint is my favorite medium; I paint almost daily.
Q: What inspires you?
A: I find inspiration in everything. However, when I came to Northeast Pennsylvania in the fall of 2004, I found myself utterly enthralled with the local culture. I found many locals used nontraditional art materials in innovative ways to create tchotchkes. Often times, these items had become family treasures handed down nearly three generations, made by a tete, nona or Baba. The sincerity of these works caught my eye. They were somewhere between craft and art brut. I was so inspired, I actually opened a “Home for Homeless Art” called THIRD in 2008. My mission for THIRD, was to protect, preserve and perpetuate the Children Of Anthracite Legacies (COAL) unique cultural contributions to the region. As I’ve dug into this local history, I have discovered many diamonds without pressure. I would have never explored any of these mediums if I hadn’t moved here.
Q: What are you working on right now?
A: My COVID-19 series, titled Negative People, was inspired by the fact (that) people who were healthy were being called negative. The project started on my phone, from screenshots I’d taken from images on my social media feeds. I then used basic apps on my phone to start creating. Since that initial start, it has now expanded to other mediums. I’m also working on a performance work related to these COVID works, but I’m not ready to show any of these recent works.
Q: How has your art changed since you first began as an artist?
A: This is a very difficult question for me to answer. The simple answer would be, I am now more technically proficient at an array of techniques. Perhaps the biggest change I’ve experienced as an artist, since when I first began would be my scope of what “art” encompasses is now limitless. As a young artist, my concept of art was insular and restricted by a narrow definition.
Q: Where can people see your art?
A: People can view an array of my art on the @eyeCONstance Instagram. Viewers can scroll through highlighted works, in various styles and mediums. I’ve randomly posted more than four decades of highlighted moments, so I encourage scrolling.
Additionally, I have a Facebook page. The page is primarily for my performance works. It can be found at facebook.com/eyeCONstance, I do post invites for upcoming exhibits on that page.
Before the pandemic hit, I had several things planned for 2020. I have had to cancel several exhibits. A few are tentatively postponed. I hope those shows will come to fruition. In the meantime, globally with no real dates as to when we will “open” public spaces for art exhibits; I’ve been working on creating works for a cyber store. People would be able to purchase prints and have them delivered to their homes.