Venture into The Creative Minds of Local Artists
Artists Share Their Creative Spaces
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You can often find her at dawn. Or glimpse her from the corner of your eye at a stoplight or a crowded airport. Sometimes she hovers in the reverberation of a quiet room or sings loudly from the pages of a book.
But the Creative Muse, whether of Painting, Words, Dance or Music, is restless. She moves from place to place. She won’t be bullied into command performances. And she can’t be cajoled into permanent residence. Here, four Tallahassee artists talk about the internal and external spaces they visit to seek her.
Dancer/choreographer/associate professor of dance at Florida State University and former Dance Theatre of Harlem soloist, in FSU’s empty Black Box Theatre
Tallahassee Magazine: Spaces mean many things to an artist. Is your creative space primarily physical, or do you “carry it around” to some extent?
AA: I love the Black Box Theatre at FSU … black curtains, floor and ceiling … It is somehow filled with electricity. It gives me no information of its own, but is neutral so that my ideas feel free to roam — no limits, no qualifying. I like to investigate a space; to feel the air between the walls, to touch its floor with my body.
And yet I think my creative spaces are mobile. Pedestrian comments by strangers may spark an idea; the way someone picks up a piece of paper from the floor may begin a whole dance; the accumulated quilts of my grandmother may be the beginning of a kinetic thought.
TM: What else influences the way your dancing is going? What you are reading? The time of day? The music you are listening to?
AA: I like to get up at 4 to 4:30 a.m. I do spiritual reading and journaling then. Thoughts at that time of day seem to form themselves into ideas more easily. I also love being near water, a large lake or the Gulf. But it must be vast; someplace where it seems an infinity of ideas can ebb and flow. For me, that kind of place feels like … freedom.