Vantage Art Flats has a new resident artist. Perrin Marie recently took on the role. She said, “When applying for the artist residency with Vantage Art, I was concerned it was too good to be
true. But, the founder, Rick Barker, is the real deal. I am fortunate he selected me
for the interview process and, ultimately, the residency position.”
Marie, an internationally published multi-disciplinary artist, was born in North Carolina about an hour away from Danville. “I appreciate the familiarity of Danville, and the sweet smells of honeysuckle along the river remind me of childhood.” She began her artistic career as an art model. “I’ve had the great privilege of traveling the world as a muse for other artists.” During this time, she experimented with self-portraiture and “stumbled into art activism with a series of self-portraits with fashion from trash that recently debuted in London.”
Marie had a mental health crisis in 2019. She survived suicide and was in rehabilitation for nearly two months. “I was forced to confront my situation. I realized most of my happy
memories took place when I was creating something—anything. So, the way I figure it, I make art o survive.” Her focus is on art activism. “My work unites my social responsibility as
an artist, environmentalist, and woman,” she added.
For Marie, the creative process is continuous. She finds artistry in daily walks and conversations with strangers. “I believe art requires us to live life and respond accordingly, so I’m constantly observing and frequently inspired by the unlikeliest things; a plastic bag in the wind or a little girl twirling in a floofy skirt,” she added.
“Individuals who serve their communities through their skill sets” influence Marie and give her hope. “Whether you’re an organizer of a weekly walking group, the founder of an arts center, or
a food truck vendor, you have a platform available to inspire.”
During her residency, Marie plans to expand on the “fashion from trash” concept by using recycled materials and fashion history to “combat current events.” An article on the political significance of hoop skirts is inspiring the project. “Basically, the bigger the hoop skirt, the more influential the woman. As an art activist and woman witnessing world events, the concept of taking up space really resonated. I want to empower women worldwide to take up space, so I’m creating a series of hoop skirts with recycled materials that make sound with movement so self-identifying women can march down the street, take up space and make HOOPLA.”
She hopes the recycled materials used will “provoke viewers to reconsider, reuse, and recycle. It’s amazing what you can make with a soda can or water bottle.”
As Marie’s art has evolved, her “voice has gotten louder and more apparent in my work over time.” She found a craving for ownership of her work while experimenting with self-portraiture that she enjoys exploring. “I’ve had people tell me they knew an image was mine before looking at the watermark, and that makes me really excited.”
For those interested in watching Marie work, her studio at Vantage is open on Saturdays from 10am to 4pm. The public is encouraged to come out, ask questions, and view the art process. Marie added, “I have really enjoyed these open studios thus far and will be here until the end of June, so please stop by.”
In the short time, Marie has been in Danville, she has loved getting to know the community. “I often keep my studio door open, and some of the coolest people (and dogs) have wandered in.”
For more information about Perrin Marie, visit her at www.theperrinmarie.com.