Since 2005, Kaycee Anseth's pieced-together collage art has made the cover of the Source four times, a testament to the magnetic quality of her work. By cutting up magazines, she creates colorful and detailed patchwork pieces, but this isn't a third-grade arts and crafts project; the labor is painstaking and the vibrant puzzlelike product reflects Anseth's hard work. The Source caught up with Anseth to discuss her art, her dog and the mysterious appeal of Tin Pan Alley.
SW: What is your process when you make collages?
KA: People are always donating magazines to me. I've gotten extremely picky. The last time I moved [my workspace] from my house to Studio 3 I had to recycle 100 pounds of magazines. I really love the high-fashion ones because of the texture of the paper and the gloss, and I love subverting the imagery. It's a process of destruction and creation.
I usually work on three or four collages at a time so I don't get too stressed or bored. It's such a meditation for me. I don't mind the time that it takes.
SW: How much time do you spend on each piece?
KA: Dependent on the size: 50 to a hundred hours. The two foxes is a small one, so it was like 20. It's so OCD. If I weren't doing a collage I would be turning the light switch on and off. It's how I channel all my energy that I don't know what to do with.
SW: How did you end up in Bend?
KA: I just hit my 10-year anniversary here. My husband and I both graduated from college and all of our friends were having babies and buying houses and we decided to drive out west from Tennessee. My friend calls Bend the Volcano Vortex: it pulls people here and they never leave.
SW: You've been in town a long time. You used to have a studio at the PoetHouse (a co-operative gallery space that was located above Tin Pan Theater until mid-2012); now you're at the Workhouse. It seems like a lot of the artistic community made that move after the PoetHouse closed.
KA: I worked at home for two years and I was really focused, but I needed to get out.
I was talking to myself way too much and watching way too much sci-fi. A lot of us from the Poethouse have migrated that direction. It's lovely to have the same group of people who know each other, but we've matured in our work. It's really exciting to be around artists as they progress through their careers.
SW: How has your art matured?
KA: I think I'm getting less autobiographical. Although I didn't say it, all my pieces used to be self-portraits in a way. I'm getting out of my own way in that respect.
Craft wise it has changed completely. When I started collage the scale was different, the composure was different. The patterns and colors have changed completely. When I first started I was still looking for a whole tree to cut out. Now, I compose a tree out of whatever I am drawn to.
SW: What have you been working on recently?
KA: Visit Bend approached me, and three other artists, to do paintings for the Tin Pan Alley Art Collection project, big outdoor pieces to hang in Tin Pan Alley. I don't know if they know how much time I spend there. I work at Lone Pine, my studio used to be at the PoetHouse and my first studio was where Tin Pan Theater is now when Rise Up had their headquarters there. I am so drawn to that space. I'm all about the energy in places. The rumor is that Minnesota Avenue. was a spring where salmon would spawn and I think that's why we're so drawn to it. I was stoked that Visit Bend thought of me and were interested.
SW: I see that foxes come up a lot in your work. What's your attraction to them?
KA: I started being drawn to them about two years ago. I was interested in the idea of a predator. I started researching fox mythology and spirit animals. They keep popping up in what I'm doing. My dog, Kelty, also looks like a fox so they're portraits of her. She's always at the studio with me so I can say, "pose." But she can't sit still for very long.
On Facebook: Kaycee Anseth Collage and Creation