Meet a NYFA Artist: Kate Teale

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NYFA speaks with 2008 Painting Fellow Kate Teale.

NYFA: Hi Kate, Please tell us what are you working on and what’s coming up for you.

KT: I have more or less finished a series of paintings of my husband and me sleeping, (above) and am looking for a gallery to show them. There are fourteen oils (one for each half hour of the night) and many studies on paper.

NYFA: What does being an artist mean to you?

KT: It means connecting with feelings and ideas through time, and adding my voice. It also means spending a lot of time alone.

NYFA: Who or what is your biggest influence or inspiration right now?

KT: Valuing ‘the passing time’. I loved the Morandi show at the Met.

NYFA: Tell us your most memorable art experience growing up.

KT: A painter called Simon Fraser came to talk to us at school in England. I was probably nine. He talked about his travels in Lapland. We all had to write a story about Lapland. Apparently mine was good and my teacher sent it to him. He wrote back to me including many very simple, beautiful drawings of moose, reindeer and an enigmatic ink drawing of the Northern Lights. He wrote that it might not look like much but he felt sure I would understand. I did.

NYFA: Where do you go to experience the creative work of others?

KT: Visits to friends’ studios, and the Met. Over the years, special exhibitions at the Met have been so good (highlights being the da Vinci; Van Gogh and Rubens drawing shows, and ‘Glitter and Doom: German Expressionist Portraits”). Studios: I was just at Jerry Kearns’ studio and always come away inspired. Artist and long-time friend Rachel Urkowitz recently moved to the same floor as my studio in L.I.C and we see each other’s work regularly.

NYFA: Where is your favorite place on earth?

KT: Home, or up a tree.

NYFA: Please recommend something to us, a good book, music, a recipe, another artist…

KT: Another artist: David Henderson – sculptor.

NYFA: What role has the Fellowship played in your life?

KT: The Fellowship is a vote of confidence. I didn’t know anyone on the selection panel. I’d thought of myself as an artist generally rather than a painter, partly due to the fact that I draw and make things, but also due to this overwhelming pre-conception that paint had to be thick. I paint thin. I have put some of the money aside to go to Italy this summer. Two other fellows (Shari Diamond and Eva Perez da Vega) and I had a small show together at Parsons School of Design.

Kate Teale was born and educated in England. She received her BA in English Literature from Christ Church, Oxford and studied painting at City & Guilds of London Art School. Teale moved to New York in 1995 and received her MFA from CUNY, Hunter College. Teale has had solo shows at Kristen Frederickson Contemporary Art; Hampden Gallery UMAS and is part of the traveling group show, Keeping It Real, curated by Jerry Kearns, that originated at Richmond Center for the Arts, Kalamazoo. She teaches at Parsons School of Design and Pratt Institute, lives in Brooklyn and is married to the sculptor David Henderson.

For more information on Kate Teale, visit her website.