We had the good fortune of connecting with Kelsey Gruber and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kelsey, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking
Most everything I do in my current artistic practice is a risk – I’m at a point as an art student where I have a lot of great ideas, but I’m still catching onto the craft aspect of art. It feels like most endeavors start with me throwing myself into some new way of thinking.There is a lot of vulnerability that comes with sharing these oh-so-fresh pieces in my art career. That definitely feels like a big risk. However, risk is absolutely necessary for growth and opportunity. To move forward, we have to be brave enough to let go of the past. When I am in unfamiliar and uncomfortable territory that risks bring, I am most in touch with my intuition.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
My art practice is just starting to unfold itself – late high school is when I became more serious about art, and I started to pay attention to my specific practice. I’m now a junior in college – only 3 years later – and I’ve moved from the digital work I did in high school to all 3D objects. I am most interested in sculpture. I also have quite a passion for metalsmithing and jewelry making. These fields present many challenges for me, but it pushes me to learn about myself in very unexpected ways. The hardest part of making art as a student is the perpetual effort to prove my position. There are 2 things in art school that mostly go away upon becoming an artist “in the world” (whatever that means): an assignment, and a due date. For me, these things are obstacles for me. I work at my own (slow) pace, and limited timelines stress me out. More and more though, the lack of time has pushed me to be ultra-focused, which has helped my hone in on process. It *can* be meditative now. It has not been easy to get to where I am right now, but I’ve become a much more focused artist, and a more thoughtful human being. Currently, my work has expressed themes of death and decay, being homesick, and finding new life in the death that surrounds us. It has to do with entering my 20s in a time of such uncertainty. There is an inherent darkness to these feelings, but new light will always come out of this darkness. Death is impossible without life. Outside of art, I’m interested in sustainable architecture. I’m currently involved in a tiny house project with 23 other Colorado State University student. We are attempting to build a 14×8′ tiny house this semester – it is an unforgettable experience! I’m passionate about the future of self-sustaining housing, and accessible architecture in urban areas.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Hiking at Greyrock is the ultimate initiation to the Fort Collins, for me. It’s less than an hour away, and it has got the most beautiful views westward over the rockies. As a reward after the 7-mile hike, I would take my lovely friend to Moe’s BBQ, the realest BBQ in Fort Collins. We could share some smoked wings or ribs, maybe finish it off with a banana pudding. Then we could hit up the comedy club next door for some good laughs. Now it’s morning. We go to La Creperie – an authentic french breakfast restaurant and bakery. After eating plates of crepes and crepe burritios, we buy an ungodly amount of eclairs, croissants, and macarons. That should take care of the rest of the day. Now we gotta meet some friends. I would take my friend to Alleycat to meet all the coolest cats in town. We could get some unreal artisan tacos from DGT, or puff at Algiers, the hookah bar downstairs. The week would consist of hiking Horsetooth, picnicing in city park, multiple trips to Cheba Hut, and breathing in the sweet Colorado air.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
My dear friend, and fellow artist Brenda is such an inspiration and support for me!
Photos courtesy of classmates and friends.