AUG. 28, 2018

Amelia Briggs: So you maintain a studio here and at school?

McLean Fahenstock: Right now I’m working a lot at Austin Peay because I’m doing a lot of building and a lot of stuff that’s too toxic to do in an environment like this, because this is the base floor of a three story building and there are other people in here that probably should be breathing what I’m working with. But when school starts, I will have to do a lot more here and adjust that work flow, research more in depth...

AB: Do you tend to move slower in the summer?

MF: Yeah or it's when I really tackle problems that I wouldn’t have time or the mental space to engage with during the semester. What am I trying to say with the integration of these two things? I’m using this new color and what does that color mean? Why is my work taking this turn? I don’t have the headspace for that. Or it's one or the other. I either get to really focus on a process and producing something during the semester where I’ve already thought through what it means and the content, when I’ve already written the game plan.

AB: Then you can just execute it.

MF: Then I can just execute it. Or I’m spending the time thinking about it and then I execute it over the summer.

AB: Which do you prefer?

MF: I’m normally doing both at the same time for different projects. If it’s a big construction problem, I like to do that over the summer just because it takes up a lot of space and I love an empty space and I love an empty shop.

AB: How long have you been teaching full-time?

MF: I’ve been teaching full time for 4 years.

AB: At Austin Peay the entire time?

MF: Yes, at Austin Peay. I started teaching in California part time before I moved.

AB: Adjuncting?

MF: Yea.

AB: What brought you back to Nashville?

MF: Really it was the cost of California. My husband and I were thinking about how we could afford to live as creative people in Southern California, to stop paying rent to someone else and to start to getting ahead.

>>> To hear the remainder of this interview with McLean Fahnestock as conducted by Amelia Briggs, select the audio link containing their full conversation here:

Her solo exhibition, Undiscovered Country, is currently on view at The New Gallery (Austin Peay State University) in Clarksville, TN from August 27 through September 21, 2018 with an artist lecture on September 18 (6:00pm) in room AD120.

McLean Fahnestock seeks out footage, images, and items that expand our understanding of place and carry the character of exploration. McLean received a BFA from Middle Tennessee State University and MFA from California State University Long Beach. Her work has been exhibited and screened across the United States and Internationally at institutions such as the Aurora Picture Show and Menil Collection, Houston, Frist Art Museum, Nashville, Black Mountain College Re{Happening}, North Carolina, Technisches Museum Wien, Vienna, Austria, The California Science Museum, Los Angeles, The British Library, London, and MOCA Hiroshima, Japan. McLean keeps her studio in Nashville, TN.

Amelia Briggs is a visual artist and gallerist based in Nashville, TN. Her work has been exhibited extensively and has recently been featured in Native Magazine, Maake Magazine, the WeHome Podcast, The Scene, Peachy Keen podcast and Nashville Arts Magazine, among others.


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