Anne Baxter is a prominent artist who trained at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in Paris before beginning a career that has led her to Ashland by way of New York and Los Angeles. She settled in the Valley some years ago. I checked in with Baxter to discuss her creative past, present and future.
JG: Tell us about your creative and artistic history.
AB: Originally from Seattle, I studied art at Colby College (Maine) where I earned an Art/English degree. During my Junior Year abroad, I studied Art History at the University of Reading, UK, and visited many of Europe’s major museums at this time.
After college I lived in New York for two years where I studied drawing at The Art Students League while doing office work at the Whitney Museum.
I then moved to Paris where I earned a Fine Arts Degree from the Ecole des Beaux-Arts, and it was during this period that I began to widely exhibit my works in wire.
More recently, I lived and worked in Los Angeles where I also co-owned and managed an art gallery.
JG: Can you speak a little bit about your current body of work?
AB: My current body of work is becoming more abstract and warmer in finishing-tone. My recent work, “Earth Calling” is about Earth calling out for help and attempting to rebalance from its abuses: the drilling, fracking, chemicals and pesticides, and many other forms of mistreatment.
My bas-relief "Earth with Coordinates" emerged as a kind of sunrise or sunset, something large and cosmic, and at the same time ordinary as a mundane button sewn — women’s work which usually goes unnoticed, becoming suddenly large, important and worthy of admiration.
My sculpture "Healthcare CEO: A parody" was a project funded through the Haines & Friends visual arts grant, through which I explored themes of corporate greed in its particularly inappropriate domain of human healthcare.
JG: What is The Venice Project and your involvement in it?
AB: I have been invited to create a large-scale sculpture for the exhibit “Time Space Existence” organized by the Global Arts Affairs Foundation and hosted by the European Cultural Centre, an official part of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018. This exhibition will be visited by over 300,000 visitors with free entry.
This six-month exhibit will include 30 selected sculptors and over 150 participating architects, and my artwork will be shown in Palazzo Mora from May 26 until Nov. 25.
This exhibit will include artists and architects from diverse cultural backgrounds and in different stages of their careers, all of whom work in a way related to the exhibit’s theme, Time-Space-Existence. I continue to work on funding this project through sponsorship.
JG: How did you land in Ashland?
AB: There came a point when I was ready to leave Los Angeles and I spent time visiting a few different cities. When I visited Ashland, I was charmed by its beauty and abundance of theater and arts culture, despite being a relatively small town. I visited a couple of times while living in L.A. and ended up moving here shortly thereafter. I have lived in Ashland for nearly four years now.
On a personal level Ashland is a good fit, being close to halfway between my family in both Los Angeles and Seattle. I especially appreciate the great theater, the Art Center, the Schneider Museum, the music, and the combination of city living with the surrounding beauty of nature.
— Ashland resident Jeffrey Gillespie is a Daily Tidings columnist, arts reviewer and freelance writer. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.