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Art & Art History
University of Mississippi

Q&A with BFA Charlotte Burge

To view Charlotte’s BFA Thesis Exhibition, Warning Signs, check out our Flickr page.
You’ll also be able to see more photos of his Q&A interview with the department.

Introduce yourself
My name is Charlotte Burge and I’m a BFA Sculpture major.

What type of artist do you consider yourself?
Very conceptual. I love readymade and found objects!

What interested you in the BFA?
Actually, Stacey Rathert’s art. When I originally came in as an art major, I wanted to be an illustrator. I love characters and the design behind them! I soon realized that an illustration area wasn’t offered so I started looking at other areas. I came across Stacey’s thesis exhibition and I thought that was so cool! So, I decided to focus my concentration in sculpture.

How did Stacey’s work influence you into concentrating in sculpture?
I saw I could work with way more materials other than metals and wood.

What art inspires you?
I really like conceptual artwork, especially when it comes to evoking emotions. I really love Kim Noble’s paintings. She is an artist and author who has Dissociative Identity Disorder. I believe “Rita” is one of her personalities and she uses a lot of bright colors but the context is really dark and heavy emotionally. Art comes off as really light and fluffy but the closer you get it’s like, oh, whoa, something is going on, something is wrong.

How has the department fostered your growth as an artist?
Before coming here, I was a little goofball. I’ve really learned how to be more professional. I now know what I want to do as an artist. I found an interest in graphic design work. I can now incorporate other areas into my work. It’s been difficult taking classes in different areas (i.e. painting, ceramics, printmaking, drawing), but I don’t regret it. I’ve taken away so much in every class and each teacher has a different perspective of creating.

Could you describe the type of work you create?
Usually in the past, it’s been a little goofy, lighthearted but the subject matter is still focusing on mental illness, mental instability. I used to make a bunch of little toys and loved it! Now I’m ready to move onto something more serious. I want to blow people away with what I create.

What is your favorite part about taking a sculpture class?
Problem solving! Oh my gosh, I love problem solving!  I love getting something that is broken and I ask myself, “How can I make it better? or “Can I make it functional again? How can I repurpose it?” I’d rather problem solve with something that is broken than create something from scratch. It’s probably weird to say that as a sculptor but I see things as puzzle pieces. It’s easier for me to see in such a three-dimensional way that I’ve never been able to before.

Could you describe any good experiences here at the department?
I do love this school. I love being able to see my all friends inside and out of the department. We recently had an awards ceremony and I was able to be creative with the decorations. We are really like a community and I love that! It’s crazy what you can learn from everybody, because they bring so much to the table. You have a really good time here. Even our little receptions are super fun. You gorge on food, haha! Little hallway talks, love those!

What are your plans after graduating?
I’d like to take a year off and focus on my work. I would really love to go to grad school. Hopefully, my number one choice is Washington State University. They have a great conceptual framework in teaching. They also have a really nice stipend too! Haha!

Do you have any advice for incoming students interested in art?
Don’t ever shun away any field, because you don’t know what you’ll be interested in. I see other students avoid sculpture because of all the power tools. Believe me, the tools are scary at first, but you’ll get used to them. Again, never shun away a field because you’ll never know kind of opportunities it’ll bring to you and what you’ll learn from it. If I didn’t choose sculpture, my experience here would have been completely different.

Interviewer: Frank Estrada | Photographer: Olivia Whittington