We had the good fortune of connecting with Orna Feinstein and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Orna, what do you think makes you most happy? Why?
Being in the studio, listening to music I love, creating art at my own pace. I enjoy exploring ideas and materials without hesitations or worries whether the work will sell or not. My other passion is world traveling. I enjoy meeting new people, learning about different cultures, customs, foods and traditions. I am fascinated by the beauty of our planet.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I was born into a family of creatives, but it was at age 16, that I started making art. The journey included private art lessons as a teen ager and two art schools. I graduated from The Glassell School of Art with a diploma in printmaking, and the art school at the University of Houston with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, majoring in sculpture. I also studied Chemistry at the Hebrew University in Jerusalem. My love for science and art accompanied and inspired me every step of the way. The journey was and is long, and exiting. My inspiration comes from nature, and especially tree trunks and organic materials as seen with the naked eyes and as seen under the microscope. My passion is for printmaking and sculpture, and in my daily practice I try to blend and blur the boundaries between the different medias and materials. The end result is artworks like no one else does. I print on concrete, and create sculpture with concrete, paper, paint threads and more. I print on unconventional surfaces like Plexiglass and hang them as a room size installation, and often collaborate with dancers to perform in between the plexiglass sheets.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I like the way Houston evolved to be the most international city in the country, and I cherish a lot of the different eateries, shops and museums around town. As a world traveler, I am happy to see that almost everything I see overseas, and develop a taste for, I can find right here. For example, I enjoy shopping for food at the Korean market on Blalock, the Indian market on Hillcroft, the Mediterranean market Phonicia on Westheimer and more. Obviously, I don’t go there every week, but I spread the visits throughout the year. I love eating at all the ethnic restaurants around town, to name a few: Pasha – Persian restaurant in the Village, Sage 400 – Japanese food, and Thai Cafe’ in downtown. Of course I frequent other places, but ethnic foods are my favorite. When I have out of town guests, I tailor their visit according to their likes and interests. There is absolutely everything to satisfy any taste, and any interest. However, no guest of mine escapes a visit to the Menil Collection, and the Museum of Fine Arts. My out of the country guests, are always fascinated by a visit to Nasa. After all, “Houston we have a problem’ is an unforgettable sentence, and most of them have Nasa as their #1 place to visit and explore in Houston. One of my favorite outdoor activity is a visit to Brazos Bend Park, a short drive from Houston. The walk around the lake with alligators roaming freely is exciting, and nature looks different every season of the year. A Great escape from the busy life in the city.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I would like to thank Anya Tish gallery in Houston, Camibaart Gallery in Austin, and James Gallery in Pittsburgh, for representing my work at their galleries for many years. Many thanks go to all the other galleries, museums and non profit organizations around the nation and overseas, who showed my work. All the amazing writers who came to see my work at my studio and at the galleries, and wrote about my art in numerous magazines and publications. Special thanks to Dena Woodall, associate curator of Prints and Drawings at the Museum of Fine Arts Houston. Dena wrote a comprehensive essay about my art. The essay was included in my book Treetopia, a survey of my work of the past 20 years. Last but not least, all my collectors, some who have numerous works of mine and keep coming for more. Their love of my artworks and support is forever appreciated and admired.
Rick Wells Orna Feinstein