Christy Georg takes adventures and spins them into art.
She’s been known to quit her day job to work as a deckhand on a boat if it means researching a new sculpture. She could coin her own term — “artventures.”
“Usually my work is inspired by some historical account or object or a place that resonates in me, and I can’t get it out of my head,” Georg said by phone recently. “So I’m usually doing a lot of research. I have a whole body of work called ‘Nautical Body.’ I became a sailor and read books about it, and all these stories fueled the work.”
The Carving Studio and Sculpture Center in West Rutland is presenting an installation by Georg, “Translation Objects for Situations and Sites,” opening with a reception 5 to 7 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2, with live music and refreshments.
The serious-sounding show title belies an unexpected playful side of the artist, which she says comes out in the work.
“You’re looking at it (thinking) ‘Is this supposed to be serious, because I think it might be hilarious? I don’t know what to feel right now.’ And it kind of makes you spend a little more time with things,” she said. “I want it to feel less like a gallery exhibit and more like a cabinet of curiosity.”
Her CV includes a BFA from Kansas City Art Institute, an MFA from Massachusetts College of Art, a teaching job at Santa Fe Community College, and a body of work characterized by functional objects with an underlying conceptual absurdity. The result is an amalgam of thought-provoking pieces, including a free-standing ladder in the middle of the desert; a larger-than-life sea chest handle made from hemp and wood; and a selfie titled “Seasick of Me,” taken in a distorted, funhouse-style mirror with ironically ornate embellishment.
But Georg backed up, saying, “When I was a kid, art classes were kind of the only thing I seemed to be attracted to.” After an undergrad professor taught her how to weld as part of a project, “that was the end of it for me. I’ve been a sculptor ever since.”
“It was such a tactile thing to do,” she explained. “I fabricated things out of copper and steel. Even though I didn’t know what I was doing, it turned into a chair.”
Today, her process is just as experimental.
“To some extent I understand the conceptual undertones, like what the piece means and why I need to make it,” she said. “But I have to figure out the details. Like it needs another curve of steel over here.”
She’s gone to the middle of the desert, the middle of the sea and places in between to create her work. Whether she’s on roller skates in a performance piece, or challenging standard ideas of common objects, Georg sees the art in her adventures.