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Meet Sydney Walters

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sydney Walters.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I cannot quite pin point why I began drawing. I remember being fascinated by other artist’s talent and wanting to make art as beautiful as theirs. I particularly remember seeing Dante Gabrielle Rossetti’s “Proserpine” in a book about the Pre-Raphaelites and longing to make something as beautiful as that painting. Looking back, it was an interesting choice since the Pre-Raphaelites were obsessed by rendering ideal female beauty and my work today individualizes the ideal. Meaning, women are uniquely different and to hell with beauty expectations and standards.

My art draws attention to the women who are beacons of resilience who unfortunately slip in the cracks and in the shadows in society.

Please tell us about your art.
Convinced that feminism is a theological project, my paintings and sculptures excavate the connection between gender equality and the divine. Influenced by Eurocentric religion, my pieces include casts of the human body and paintings circulating around historical events of martyrdom, annunciation and other religious happenings. These references highlight the extensive history in which women are delegated inferior status.

This injustice as my backdrop, my work explores the pertinent and appropriate delegation of femininity. The heterogeneous complexity of women demands a delicate balance of distinct and often polarizing characteristics. Evolving from critique to embodiment and then to cultural reassignment, I am curious about how the female nude exists within a spiritual landscape. These women invite candid conversation about religion, sexuality, vulnerability and strength.

Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
Try not to never say “no” to opportunities. Be known as the most reliable, hard-working person and people will contact you.

Practice your artist statement “elevator speech” and know it by heart. There are a lot of artists out there but very few of them know how to talk about their work. Peak people’s interest with how passionately and articulately you talk about your work.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
I will be starting an MFA at Claremont Graduate University in the fall! I will be posting when I have open studios and my final show on social media. Facebook, Instagram and you can see my full portfolio on my website.

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