Arts & Events

Artist of the Issue: Chloe Ivy-Curwen

"Bite Me!" is just one example of Chloe's versatile and expressive portfolio Photo Credit: Chloe Ivy-Curwen, used with permission

By Kailey Kairo

  Congratulations to this month’s Artist of the Issue, Chloe Ivy-Curwen! Chloe is a sophomore double majoring in art and philosophy with a minor in bioethics. Their preferred medium is gouache paint – think a more opaque watercolor – and she is dedicated to visually translating the world around her. Keep an eye out for Chloe’s work in the coming years!

Q: What led you to pursue an education in the arts? Is there a person in your life or a particular artist who inspires you?

A: My dad has been an artist almost his entire life, which I imagine is because of his father too (he is a ceramic artist and mostly makes pottery, while my dad is a photographer and painter). I grew up surrounded by art, not only through my father’s art, artist friends, and interests, but also because my mom is an art historian and librarian. Because of my parents, I have been lucky enough to develop a love of art in all settings, especially academic. Honestly, I didn’t think too much about pursuing an education in studio art until I was here at UPS. Recognizing the importance of art existing in academic settings really hit me, as I realized how little our school values the art department here (as well as the other departments in the humanities). Anywho — I’d say my dad inspired me to study art, as his passion for it throughout his lifetime inspires me as well to dedicate my life to things I enjoy and find important.

Q: You have a broad range of academic pursuits — how do your interests in philosophy and bioethics intersect with your passion for the arts, if at all?

A:  Well, I guess the bio in bioethics comes from my first intentions at this school, where I planned to be a double major in biology and art, and to pursue scientific illustration. I’ve been extremely passionate about ethics and philosophy since taking a philosophy class in high school, but again, I hadn’t found a way to overlap these interests until I took classes here. I’ve been really interested in the need for art in life and/or society, and also the new problems that Artificial Intelligence has been creating for art making. Last semester, I took a class on philosophy of mind, where we learned a little about A.I. “art”, and this is something I would love to continue studying, or at least the philosophy behind creativity and art.

Q: What’s your favorite part about working with gouache as a medium?

A:  I honestly chose it out of ease, my biggest forest paintings through high school were done with gouache, and it’s what I’m most used to. I also have found it very fun to try and take on a realistic approach, where most gouache artists I have seen paint cartoons or more illustrations. I love gouache’s versatility, and the ability to layer different levels of opacity to differentiate from the background and the foreground. 

Q: In your opinion, what is the “best” or most interesting piece you’ve created so far? 

A: I’d say my most recent oil painting, my final in my painting class last semester. It’s called “My Things”, and it is a still life composed of items I chose based on people I love. Each item was given to me, and I’ve reflected on how materialistic I have become through this sentimentality. I love little toys and trinkets, and when they are given to me I just have to display them all over my room! So for this piece, I chose some toys that friends had gotten me while they traveled, a note from my very best friend, a card set from my lovely partner, and a watercolor palette my parents got me for my last birthday. I believe this painting shows my progress with oil during that class, as one of the main techniques that is visible is scumbling and the peeking through of the underpainting. I enjoyed learning this medium so much, and I think it shows in the painting, how much I loved the process, and how much love I hold for those objects, and the people I associate with them.

Q: Are you currently working on any new artistic projects that you’d like to tell us about?

A: I’m currently in a figure drawing class, and so I’m hoping to better my skill of life drawing and getting to know the human form. I’m really excited to explore figure drawing through a queer lens, or to try and find a way to incorporate my queerness into a very traditional art form.