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Session Title: My most asked question: How did you get the idea to do THAT?: One artist’s relationship with ideas
Speaker: Joanne Steinhardt, Artist
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Session description: The number one question I have always been asked about my work is “How did you come up with that idea?” Other questions are not uncommon, such as “How did you do that?” “How long does that take to do?,” “Do people actually buy your work?,” and so on, but nothing comes even close to the “How did you come up with the idea to make that?” I had racked up all the pat answers; the avoidance answer; “I just do,” the deflection answer “What do you mean? How do you come up with ideas?,” or the real cop-out answer, “Gee, I don’t really know. It just happens.” None of these responses actually help the genuinely curious person asking me, but I seriously did not have an answer. I really believed that ideas found me, not the other way around. But, as I really took the time and gave myself the space to think about where my ideas come from, it turns out that I was wrong. The idea was there all the time. I just was not paying attention to it. This presentation explores the research into idea generation, personal idea nurturing, practical examples, and steps to integrate the process and practice of creative idea nurturing and generation.

Bio:  Joanne Steinhardt’s work embraces themes of returning and rebirth. Once a year, during the Hebrew month of Elul, the concept of teshuvah, returning to our most pure selves through embracing our neshama – soul, or spirit, is practiced enabling the move forward into the new annual cycle in a clean and humble state as a basis for the year ahead. The personal and continuous ritual in her work is adapted from the process of teshuvah, and the artwork is her process of returning to her most pure self. Steinhardt collects materials from the past of her family and friends and transforms them. They are remnants of tattered rags embroidered, tiny environments filling objects like a 50-year-old valise, an antique top and a bowler hat, a cast iron and a brass pan, a toilet, and repurposed photographs. The complex relationships of the family inhabit her work. In turn, Steinhardt also inhabits it, separate from them, by creating collages of memories and stories that have become family lore. With this, she creates a bridge between her worldly self and her neshama. For example, the most recent body of work, The Tiny Things project is all hers, but the spirits that inhabit it help her find herself. Steinhardt lives and works in the Greater New York City Metro Area. She holds a Master of Fine Arts from the Maine College of Art and a Bachelor of Science in Photography from the RIT School of Photographic Arts and Sciences. Steinhardt’s work has been exhibited at the Tampa Museum of Art, Polk County Museum, and Covivant Gallery. She has lectured and led workshops at numerous institutions around the US and abroad, including NYU Tisch ITP, the Harrison School for the Arts, and La Biennale del fin del Mundo in Ushuaia, Argentina. Previously, Steinhardt achieved tenure in both the Art and Communication Departments at the University of Tampa where she conceived a multidisciplinary Electronic Media Art and Technology Program designed to support those interested in a self-directed academic Major combining art, communication, English, music, computer information systems, and entrepreneurship.