How do you situate your work in the context of the current moment?
In 2018, I began having a discussion about racism through my art. Many people are uneducated on the subject and didn’t understand my passion for discussing this topic. Well, now we have the election along with many racial events coming to the surface, causing an uproar in our country. My work has always fit current events but not exactly the current mood. With the current mood, people are more interested.
What projects are you currently working on and how is social distancing affecting your art practice?
I am currently doing research on Route 66 and the nostalgia around Route 66. Route 66 is the highway of American dreams. There are movies and songs based around this old highway but no one ever speaks on the people who weren’t welcomed here. African Americans had to take precautions traveling on this highway because Route 66 passes through many sundown towns. My new work explores the dark racist side of American nostalgia.
As of right now, social distancing doesn’t affect my art practice but it can when it comes to visiting galleries and traveling. Restricted hours at businesses and being exposed to COVID-19 is always a risk in public places.
What advice and tips can you give to other artists during this time?
As an artist, I would suggest taking full advantage of the time spent indoors due to this pandemic. During the height of our shut down, I spent weeks in the house and I had to find ways to stay busy and creative instead of turning into a couch potato. Also, during hard times, there are many opportunities that surface to help people in need, especially if you’re a student or a person of color. Look out for these opportunities and jump on them if you can!
How are you cultivating community for yourself and what can the community be doing to support artists?
After graduating last year, I disconnected with most of the community that I had created throughout school. I realized how important that was so, in May of this past year, I started a women’s group called Leading Ladies. This group is full of different women, not just artists. We meet up once a month and talk, support and hold each other accountable for improvement. This is very beneficial to my art practice because now my community voice is coming from more than just artists. That voice is now more diverse.
Taylor Sanders is an upcoming artist from West Louisville, Ky. She studied at Spalding University earning a BFA degree in Interdisciplinary Sculpture with a minor in African American Studies. With no specific medium, her main focus is integrating found three-dimensional objects with multiple sculptural processes, techniques and materials while addressing relevant topics in history and in today’s society. The purpose of her recent work is to confront racial and social issues through appropriated everyday items with installation. These research-based installations and sculptures are reflecting upon historical issues. By using material culture to make connections between slavery, the Jim Crow era, the Civil Rights movement, mass incarceration and other contemporary social issues, the goal is to raise awareness and encourage viewers to reconsider their personal views and connections to these events.
You can follow Taylor Sanders on Instagram @ Sculptingme_