If you’re a regular visitor at Stranger Factory, you might have run into the giant smile and smooth dance moves of our paint assistant, Katie Carillo! A recent graduate from the University of New Mexico, and a rising talent in the Albuquerque art scene, Katie works hard to bring you many of the recent editioned works from Circus Posterus.
However, we wanted to chat to her about more of her own artwork, which is a delightful exploration of scientific and environmental themes. Katie’s art will be debuting at Stranger Factory in Bewitching III, opening October 11th!
Circus Posterus: Tell us about what you do at Stranger Factory!
Katie Carillo: Mainly I ogle at all the amazing art. But really, I do whatever they let me do at Stranger Factory! I am Kathie’s assistant, or paint monkey (that’s a title I have given myself) and have done some graphic design work. I love learning about everything that goes on though, and I’ve had the opportunity to help with a lot of different things. The best part is being able to spend time with and learn from Kathie, Brandt, Aubrie and Mikee, who are some of the most creative, smart, funny, generous, all around beautiful people I’ve met. That sounds like brown nosing but it isn’t because it’s true.
CP: How did you end up working with Kathie and Stranger Factory?
KC: I went to school with the fabulous Valency Genis, and she knew how much I loved the gallery, Brandt, and Kathie, and put in a good word for me (probably a lot of them actually) when she knew she would be moving. Then I had a sort of painting try out and they let me work there!! I’m so excited to be there and I pinch myself daily. I am not joking, just ask my friends.
Flash, from a small body of work titled Desert/Sea
CP: What’s the concept behind your paintings for Bewitching?
KC: My pieces for Bewitching are views out of the windows of a haunted submarine… They each show how remnants of Halloween have made their way to the bottom of the sea and how the creatures living there react to them. I am also playing with the idea of porthole-petri dishes and showing what may happen on a cellular level because I am an environmentalist and also a nerd.
A preview of one of Katie’s pieces for Bewitching III.
CP: What are you currently obsessing over? What is inspiring you right now?
KC: I love plankton, and I just learned about this really cool citizen science identification project called “Plankton Portal”… obsessed!
My inspiration generally comes from the dialogue that I have with my incredible friends, looking at new art and learning about scientific discoveries daily, and being in a really awesome work environment… However, right now it’s mostly the deadline for the show.
CP: Congrats on your recent graduation(and your double major)! It’s been really cool to see your art and science backgrounds fusing together. When did you first realize you could pursue both paths in your work?
KC: Hey, thank you! Art and science have always been intertwined for me. I think everything I’ve learned in science has become creative fodder in some way. I am very passionate about our role in our planet’s diversity and ecology and I feel the need to communicate aspects of that through art. Also, the world is just fascinating and I want to paint it!
CP: What are we going to see next from you, after Bewitching?
KC: I am beyond excited and honored to be showing some pieces at the Winter Salon at Stranger Factory in December, will be participating in a fundraiser show for a local art center, and have some ideas incubating in my head for a larger body of work soon, centered around lab rabbits.