A.I.R. studio welcomes a new type of artist
"Silohs" by Liz Vaughan.
Liz Vaughan sits at a table in A.I.R. Studio in Paducah with scissors, cutting out shapes and lines. Old maps and photographs, advertisements and other miscellaneous papers, all with holes and pieces missing, are strewn across the studio she has called home for the past two weeks.
The South Carolina native has settled in, and is getting ready to teach a workshop on something that she now sees as her bread and butter: collaging.
Vaughan is Paducah’s most recent Artist in Residence at A.I.R. Studio in Lower Town. The residency program, sponsored by Paducah Arts Alliance, brings artists from over the world to teach classes and work in the studio. Vaughan specializes in 3-D collage art, but the difference between her and previous artists is simple — she’s only 24.
“There are peope talking about the program here,” Vaughan said. “The program is important, but it’s especially important to young, emerging artists.”
Vaughan studied sculpture and photography in school, but was also interested in stop-motion animation. A class in collage had her studying film negatives, and as she cut and put things together, she began to notice patterns. Then she started cutting other things and piecing them together, everything from photographs to magazines to old papers.
“I like to photograph my life, but in terms of landscape,” Vaughan said. “So a lot of it has to do with me, and relationships with people and places.”
Outside of art, Vaughan is your average 24-year-old. She supports herself with a job in retail, works on her dream as much as she possibly can, and freelances for extra income. She is part of a new group of artists who know the importance of marketing.
“It’s important as an artist to diversify your income,” Vaughan said. “It would be great to live the rock star lifestyle and have galleries knocking down my door, but that’s not realistic.”
For now, Vaughan is happy in her job, which is flexible enough that it allows her to go to art shows and participate in things like the residency program. Eventually, though, she would like to be able to support herself through art.
“I would love to teach or help a non-profit out, “ Vaughan said. “Art is the most unregulated market out there, but I will always be creating even if I have to have another side job my entire life.”