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Art & Life with Kelsey Vidic

Today we’d like to introduce you to Kelsey Vidic.

Kelsey, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I explore the relationship of the body in space, movement, and textiles. I began my career as a theater performer. Through my college degree as a BA in Theatre, I was pulled away from performing as I found costume design. I attended graduate school at UT Austin for Costume Design, and that was where I incorporated my passion for movement and creating clothing for a movement dominated fields. It also sparked an interest in textiles and bodies within an installation practice.

I have worked in many fields as a designer, including theater, opera, film, and dance, but the last two and a half years have been focused on dance and continuing my personal research/installation practice. I currently work full time at California State University, Long Beach managing their Dance Costume Shop as well as the Costume Designer for their dance concerts.

Through this work, I’ve discovered the most rewarding aspect for me within my job is designing and fitting custom made clothing for individual bodies. To see dancers see themselves in a fitted garment and fall in love with the way they look and feel because the garment is made for their individual curves is exceptionally rewarding. As a result of seeing this transformation, I am starting to brainstorm ways I can work outside of performance space to create custom garments in collaboration with the wearer. That is a future thought for down the line.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I feel so grateful to work primarily as a supporter or collaborator of other artists’ visions or our collective vision. As a costume designer, my goal is to use a visual language of textiles, clothing, and decoration to communicate a story. Every project I work on has a different message, a unique inspiration. Through working with different creators, I can experience a new perspective and research into spaces that aren’t familiar. I am grateful for every project that I am allowed to dive into someone else’s experience and work my hardest to represent their perspective with grace and respect.

Weaving between collaborations so often forces me to be open to many personalities and ways of working and teaches me how to balance my own ideas with others. I am continuing to learn the skill of objectively seeing what we are all trying to communicate and balance that with my personal aesthetic. When I make my own installation work, I find myself expressing themes that align with my personal spirituality, the expression of identity, and achieving balance.

Do you think conditions are generally improving for artists? What more can cities and communities do to improve conditions for artists?
A hard question to answer, yet the one I think of quite often. I believe the condition of being an artist today is difficult. I think it is because the wages we earn as artists is hard to live off of, especially as a beginning or younger artist. It takes a certain financial privilege or security to begin a career in the arts.

The best we can do is educate and mentor. A lot of artists have to be creative in the ways to fund themselves or pay their bills, so the better they are at cultivating and understanding their own skill sets and finding jobs that can support their lives or practices, the more their art can thrive. I try to mentor anyone that asks and pass along the information my incredible mentors have given me, as that is how I’ve survived a career thus far as a Costume Designer. I am of the mindset that sharing resources and spaces as artists can only help build and support our community. It’s not impossible to be an artist, but it takes a lot of time and creativity to make it a full-time career.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
I typically work for dance performances, so the best way to support my work is by supporting the companies I work for. California State University, Long Beach, has an incredible dance program and seeing any of their five concerts a school year is a great way to support it. I also work around LA for companies like LA Contemporary Dance Company, Kevin Williamson & Co, and Acts of Matter. Their shows are all equally amazing, and I see them even if I am not currently working on them as a designer. You can also check out the new space Stomping Ground, opening up this spring as a great venue to view dance.

Contact Info:

  • Website: kelseyvidic.com
  • Email: kelseyevidic@gmail.com
  • Instagram: @kvidic


Image Credit:
Photo: Matthew Genecov

Terra
LA Contemporary Dance Company
Photo: Gema Galiana

Tour Final
Choreography: Rebecca Lemme
Photo: Gregory R.R. Crosby

permeate
in collaboration with Allie Miks, Kelsey Vidic, Zaq Kenefick
Photo: Gregory R.R. Crosby

Safe and Sound
Kevin Williamson & Co
Photo: Malachi Middleton

Costume Rendering: Kelsey Vidic

Costume Rendering: Kelsey Vidic

Adrift
Installation by Kelsey Vidic
Photo: Yitai Chung

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