Katy Betz is back again to take you to a place where your mind can run loose and play! Last time we spoke with Katy, she shared with us her creative process and why it is important for her to create space for imagination (Click here to read our interview with her). She shared with me her upcoming MFA show awhile back and I'm excited to share with you that it is finally here-- this Saturday! With her credo as the title of this exhibition, Katy takes her paintings on an investigation into the "epicenter of our being" and the "well spring of life" -- our heart. Here's my chat with Katy where she shares with us how she is feeling at the moment and her "epic playlist":
Jennifer: It's Katy Betz in the house! Thanks Katy for coming to chat with us. What are some thoughts dancing in your head as your MFA show is approaching rapidly in a week?
Katy: Hey! Thank you, great to talk with you. I love that you use the word “dancing” because my thoughts find themselves doing the excited jig, the passionate flamenco, and on good days, the graceful waltz. I love all the work I’ve done for this show and can’t wait to celebrate!
Jennifer: What was the process in preparing for this show? It is a mystery to some of us. What were some challenges and blessings you came across?
Katy: When I entered the Grad Program at CSUF three years ago, I didn’t set out with any final exhibition in mind, rather it was a process of discovering myself and what I wanted to say and do with my work. I did the work, and my art evolved with me. I wrote and illustrated two children’s books, taught classes, illustrated my summer travels, did freelance jobs and showed in galleries. About a year ago, an idea came to me through several sources: books, podcasts, conversations, relationships, and personal reflection.
I noticed a theme running through all these sources, and it was based on the heart (as convergence of the mind, body, soul and spirit). I decided to take the idea and run with it in the direction of an epic fairytale, creating Guardians of the Heart, a conceptual fantasy series about spiritual transformation and spiritual warfare, expressed through oil paintings. I spent several months sketching, researching symbols, and designing characters, environments, and painting. Some challenges were moving forward with the idea and not doubting. I literally let the story unfold painting by painting, not knowing where it was going really. I just knew I was working with a concept and a set of fantasy characters. Some blessings were my friends who cheered me on, and my Dad who made all my wood panels.
Jennifer: In a recent interview, you mentioned about an "epic playlist" that kept you inspired and resilient throughout this journey. Can you share with us some of the songs on your playlist?
Katy: I love adventure music, instrumental film scores that evoke strong emotion and bring an immediate picture to your mind. Some of my favorites are soundtracks of Coraline, Lord of the Rings, Pride & Prejudice, Elizabeth the Golden Age, Chocolat, August Rush, Gladiator, Pan’s Labyrinth, Edward Scissorhands, Pirates of the Caribbean, Braveheart, Passion of the Christ, & Finding Neverland to name a few. I will buy music to match the project I’m working on. For example, I purchased a bunch of scary music by Nox Arcana to set the mood for working on the book I recently illustrated, Lost Ones: Ghosts of Paris. For this series, I felt the project was best paired with the fantasy/action/adventure genre. If I had to pick my top songs, they would be Alice’s Theme from Alice in Wonderland, Lord of the Rings, the Two Towers: Forth Eorlingas/Isengard Unleashed, and Passion of the Christ: Resurrection. Epic!
Jennifer: Alright, here comes the bomb. Why should we come to your art exhibit this Saturday night?
Katy: Haha! Glad you asked! How about because it’s an opportunity to partake in several adventure stories that will surprise, challenge, and exalt your sense of wonder!!! Plus, there will be free munchies and I would personally love to meet everyone. So please stop by, snack on some food, and check out my crazy art!
Thanks Katy! I am ready for an adventure. See you all this Saturday. -- Jennifer
Name of Show: Creating Space for Imagination...
Dates and Times: Opening reception is Saturday, April 16th, 6pm to 9pm.
Gallery Hours for the week of April 18-21st are 10am to 3pm.
Venue Name and Address:
California Sate University, Fullerton
Visual Arts Center
800 N State College Blvd
Fullerton, CA 92831
Ticket Price: Free and Open to the Public. Parking is free on Opening Night.
A Master of Fine Arts exhibition by artist Katy Betz. Take a visual journey through several epic fairy tales that will surprise, challenge, and exalt your sense of wonder. Over 30 original oil paintings on display, including the debut series "Guardians of the Heart" - a conceptual fantasy narrative about spiritual transformation and warfare. Betz's vision is likely to awaken the eyes of your heart to sublime possibilities!