Mara Baker is a Chicago-based interdisciplinary artist and educator. Combining traditional fiber processes, animation, light and video, Baker’s work draws inspiration from the phenomena of optical illusion and the changing of our eyes perception of light, color and space.
CNL Projects: What is one thing you feel you have learned or experienced as an artist that you feel you can share with your peers and emerging artists in the field?
Mara Baker: Two years ago, I bought a three-unit building in Avondale with my best friend in order to create a sustainable life and supportive artistic community. We spent a long time thinking through our values and the structure of our space, which includes a rental unit on the bottom floor and a built out studio in the garage. If artists are interested in purchasing real estate, I am happy to share my experiences and contacts.
CNL: What’s something that you’re seeking from others in the field to support your practice?
MB: Opportunities to make large scale, site-specific work. I am becoming more and more interested in work that has a public interface. Collaborators. I am working on a series of stop motion animations using light and color and am looking for sound artists to collaborate with to bring new perspective and the work and ideas to another level.
CNL: What’s a piece of advice you would share with other artists or cultural producers in your field?
MB: Learn to be fluid in expectations, goals and ideas around your making and professional practice. I feel like I am constantly surprised by opportunities, ideas and people. The less weight I put onto any one opportunity or vision, the better my chances of success.