Lindsay Lawson grew up in Virginia and trained as a classical and contemporary dancer from an early age, eventually studying with American Ballet Theater in New York City as a teenage apprentice. Her interests shifted to fine art and she received her BFA in Sculpture and Extended Media from Virginia Commonwealth University and then her MFA in New Genres from UCLA. She also attended the Staedelschule in Frankfurt, Germany and was a resident at Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture. Her work spans media such as film, video, installation, photography, sculpture, performance, and poetry. Her practice deals with issues of presence and objecthood in virtual and physical spaces. Numerous recent projects investigate states of infatuation with virtual personas and both virtual and physical objects. Her first feature-length film, “The Smiling Rock” was shot in Berlin and is currently in post-production. She has exhibited internationally at venues such as Kunst-Werke, Berlin; LAXART, Los Angeles; Yossi Milo Gallery, New York; Carroll/Fletcher, London; Gillmeier Rech, Berlin; Reed College, Portland; New Orleans Film Society; Forum Box, Helsinki; Beijing Biennale.
What have you been up to since graduating from VCU?
After graduating from VCU, I went directly on to my graduate studies in the New Genres Program at UCLA in Los Angeles. Shortly after receiving my MFA, I moved to Berlin, Germany where I have lived and worked ever since. I’m represented by Gillmeier Rech in Berlin and am now working on my first feature film, which is currently in post-production.
What advice would you give a current VCU Sculpture student?
I would advise any VCU Sculpture student to really take advantage of the various technical classes. Even if you aren’t really interested in metals or video or woodworking right now, you will get introduced to some tools that may be helpful for you later. I learned mold making at VCU 12 years ago, but only made my first sculptures using molds in an exhibition this year. I would also suggest particular attention to the theory classes. They are the beginning of a long journey of inquiry that spans your entire career in whatever you pursue.
How did VCU prepare you for your current situation?
My practice is mainly concerned with sculpture, video, and film and I was fortunate to find all of that in the excellent Sculpture and Extended Media program at VCU. I really love that VCU encourages students to learn about all sorts of materials ranging from metal to video, wood, 3D printing, all within the context of a conceptually rigorous program. I love working fluidly with a variety of media and I find that people are often surprised at my capability and comfort level handling various materials. I definitely owe that to VCU. I’m also amazed at the work ethic of VCU artists.
How do you define success?
I decided I wanted to be a professional artist during my time at VCU and that’s what I’m doing now. I think that success is not just about achievements garnered within a pre-existing framework. Success is also about choosing a path, finding your own way, creating your vision, and making that a reality.
Why did you decide to study sculpture?
I was a Dance and Choreography major when I first entered VCU, but after my first year I decided that I wanted to study film. Because of the timing of that decision, I could only apply to Art Foundation rather than Film/Photo Foundation, but both foundation programs were similar and I intended to transfer over the relevant credits. What changed my course was a class called Conceptualization and Presentation, which was, for all intents and purposes, a sculpture class. I was totally inspired with what was a totally new way of thinking for me, crafting ideas with forms and space.