Alissa Eberle fills us in on her work parallel to the show: "High Beam"
What initially brought you to art?
I have been making art for as long as I can remember. While I have worked with many different mediums over the years, there has been no point in my life where I wasn’t creating art in some form. It is a necessity to me. I love the language of art because of its ability to evoke feelings and create meaning without words, allowing viewers to have vastly different experiences of an artwork.
What imagery has historically influenced you and why?
I have always been influenced more by ideas rather than any specific imagery. Ideas surrounding decay, nostalgia, memory and distortion have been central to my work, lately thinking about how our structures and buildings experience the passage of time. Imagery of broken windows and mirrors have been showing up in my work recently.
How has your process evolved in the last 5 to 10 years?
My process has evolved so much. Neon glassbending is such a difficult medium, there is so much room to forever be perfecting your craft. Lately I have been combining new noble gasses such as xenon into my work. I have also started to collaborate with other artists. It’s been refreshing, I am constantly learning!
What or who has had the most influence on your work?
My mentor Dom Urbani has definitely had the most influence on my work. He took me under his wing and taught me the incredible craft of neon, staying after work over the years to teach me. But he also taught me about the importance of creating quality glasswork, and how to manage the hectic schedule of being a full-time tradesperson while managing my art projects.
What has surprised you about your art practice?
I am surprised to find myself starting to dip my toe in time based media lately. While the construct of time has always been something I have been interested in conceptually, I have been intimidated about creating artworks that unfold over time. Constructing an installation last year with sound really opened me up to new ways of creating .
What is your identity at large? Do you think about this a lot in relation to your art?
Being a neon bender is such a large part of my identity because I work as a full time neon sign maker in addition to my art practice. I feel proud to identify as a craftsperson. I love that it is so difficult to learn neon, we have a saying that if you knew how hard it was going to be to learn you probably would not have tried. That is what makes it so special, and I identify with the perseverance of this medium.
What is your favorite takeaway from this exhibition?
I loved creating works that feel like a conversation with the other artists and the space; Doing the show with Jen and Pete felt like we were creating a dialogue of color and shapes. I have been so interested lately in collaboration, and this exhibition really felt like one. It is such a perfect way to summon spring!