The Open Call Podcast

Laura Tanner and Anne Stagg

In The Open Call Podcast Laura Tanner and Anne Stagg engage in conversations with contemporary artists. We learn about their studio practice, major themes in their artwork, inspirations, and background. Our podcast seeks to amplify the voices of artists along with the important work they are doing. The Open Call offers an alternative platform for artists to share their work and gives listeners an inside peek into the creative practice.

The Open Call Podcast with Zoë Charlton
Feb 24 2022
The Open Call Podcast with Zoë Charlton
The Open Call Podcast, hosted by Anne Stagg and Laura Tanner, features conversations with contemporary artists about their work. This week, The Open Call Podcast has the pleasure of sharing with you part of our conversation with Zoë Charlton. Zoë is a multidisciplinary artist whose practice spans drawing, sculpture, and installation. She lives in Baltimore, MD and maintains studios there and in Washington, DC where she is on the faculty at American University. Zoe’s work centers around the figure, however these depictions move beyond representation and serve as signifiers of black identity. Her figures are frequently partially obscured by a dense envelopment of collaged elements like trees, birds, houses, or masks that functionally reference the idea of place. While her figures reference specific individuals, these additional elements have an ubiquitous quality to them. She mines this imagery from sources like magazines, books, packs of decorative stickers, and the internet. Zoë refers to herself as a storyteller and she weaves together familiar and unique elements as an invitation to question how mythologies are born and consider who the depicted individual might be and what their relationship is to the culturally loaded objects and landscapes that surround them.Zoë’s work draws from rich memories of her grandmother, her upbringing in the panhandle of Florida, her experience moving from place to place as a military dependent, and other noteworthy aspects of her personal history. The lived experiences that she folds into her drawings and installations are the foundation upon which she explores topics like race, gender, history, and mythology.We enjoyed a delightful conversation with Zoë that hit on her research, studio practice, and  balancing her practice with family and an academic career . We hope you enjoy our conversation and please check out our Instagram -- @the_open_call_podcast -- where we share images of Zoë's artwork. We typically release new episodes every 2 weeks, however this episode closes our 3rd Season and we will take some time off before launching Season 4. Be sure to subscribe to our podcast and follow us on Instagram so you will know when we are back with new episodes. Special thanks to Susan Cooper for voicing our Outro, Scott Stagg for composing our music, Judah Bachmann for creating a new version of our podcast music and for sound engineering, and to our wonderful research assistants:  Ally Price,  Nikki Cohen, and Erin Miller  who provide production support, web, and social media design.
The Open Call Podcast with Buzz Spector
Feb 9 2022
The Open Call Podcast with Buzz Spector
The Open Call Podcast, hosted by Anne Stagg and Laura Tanner, features conversations with contemporary artists about their work.This week, The Open Call Podcast has the pleasure of sharing with you part of our conversation with Buzz Spector. When we spoke, Buzz had recently moved from St Louis to his new home in the Hudson Valley, His studio was in the final phase of construction. Buzz is an internationally recognized conceptual artist who is perhaps best known for his work with books, but his vast body of work also includes drawings, photographs, collages, and more. He says of his practice, all of the techniques he uses “are techniques of intimacy in action, but our position to recognize them is retrospective - it comes after the fact. So the play of memory he talks about is one) of projecting your own experience and secondarily, of assessing the limited terms that our language gives us to describe what we witness.”Buzz often uses language as a stand in for something that is missing. He considers all of his work through the lens of drawing and he talks about how “the distance between reader and page, between artist’s eye and artist’s pencil on paper, is an intimate space of noticing, empathizing, and of accepting that makes the experience shift from a reading of structural terms to an epiphany of identification.”Buzz is also widely recognized for his critical writings about art. He describes his role as not simply providing an opinion, but instead as finding a way of faithfully describing what he has seen that will preserve something of that effect in the imagination of the reader. When he writes he chooses from a huge field of properties to describe one, then another, then another and that description doesn’t lead to a total picture of the artwork, but instead to a premise of the success or failure of the artwork. The structure of his writing is intended to clarify where he is coming from as the person on the other side of that written text.We enjoyed a rich conversation that meandered through a variety of topics including his practice, critical writing and pedagogy. We hope you enjoy our conversation and please check out our Instagram -- @the_open_call_podcast -- where we share images of Buzz's artwork. We produce three seasons a year during which we release new episodes every 2 weeks. Special thanks to Susan Cooper for voicing our Outro, Scott Stagg for composing our music, Judah Bachmann for creating a new version of our podcast music and for sound engineering, and to our wonderful research assistants:  Ally Price,  Nikki Cohen, and Erin Miller  who provide production support, web, and social media design.
The Open Call Podcast with Jodi Hays
Jan 27 2022
The Open Call Podcast with Jodi Hays
The Open Call Podcast, hosted by Anne Stagg and Laura Tanner, features conversations with contemporary artists about their work.This week, The Open Call Podcast is happy to host Jodi Hays. Jodi is a Southern-identifying artist whose abstract paintings bring together new and reclaimed materials that she dyes, paints and assembles into  works ranging from small to mural sized paintings. Her work pulls from a Southern vernacular and she pulls some of her imagery from care-worn and dilapidated aspects of the Southern landscape. She deftly layers formal, emotive, and conceptual elements as she explores ideas of gender, history, identity, and place. Hays’ materials are often drawn from her environment, sometimes suffused with family history and sometimes chosen for their formal qualities like stripes or grids. She manipulates these materials and mines them for their inherent content, informing her interest in abstraction. Her paintings draw on her research into regional history, family, and land use. In this episode we  caught up with Jodi in Nashville, Tennessee where she lives and works. Listen as she shares about her studio,  working process, and the ideas that inform her work. We hope you enjoy our conversation and please check out our Instagram -- @the_open_call_podcast -- where we share images of our guest's artwork. We release new episodes of The Open Call every 2 weeks. Special thanks to Susan Cooper for voicing our Outro, Scott Stagg for composing our music, Judah Bachmann for creating a new version of our podcast music and for sound engineering, and to our wonderful research assistants:  Ally Price,  Nikki Cohen, and Erin Miller  who provide production support, web, and social media design.
The Open Call Podcast with Lisa Corinne Davis
Jan 12 2022
The Open Call Podcast with Lisa Corinne Davis
The Open Call Podcast, hosted by Anne Stagg and Laura Tanner, features conversations with contemporary artists about their work. This week, The Open Call Podcast is happy to host Lisa Corinne Davis, an internationally known, Brooklyn based artist whose complex paintings contain coded narratives that layer warped grids, invented geometries, and map elements overtop of  one another. Davis’ works are informed by her own lived experiences as a light-skinned African American woman and her desire to avoid categorization. Her paintings investigate the “complex relationship between 'race, culture and history”’ Using a visual language that is moreso felt than overtly political she explores ideas about “classification and contingency, the rational and irrational, chaos and order” in relation to identity.Davis is interested in the multiplicity of perception and how our varied histories inform our interactions. She seamlessly combines contrasting elements like geometric and organic forms, and analytical and emotional color schemes in ways that create visually engaging juxtapositions and open up new space for interpretation. The titles of her paintings, containing two seemingly disparate words like Quizzical Quantum, are yet another tool she uses to prolong interpretation and avoid clear definition. Lisa maintains studios in both NYC and in the Hudson Valley. When we spoke with Lisa she was in Hudson. We discussed her process and got a glimpse into how she juggles multiple roles as artist, professor, and mother. We hope you enjoy our conversation and please check out our Instagram -- @the_open_call_podcast -- where we share images of Lisa's artwork. We release new episodes of The Open Call every 2 weeks. Special thanks to Susan Cooper for voicing our Outro, Scott Stagg for composing our music, Judah Bachmann for creating a new version of our podcast music and for sound engineering, and to our wonderful research assistants:  Ally Price,  Nikki Cohen, and Erin Miller  who provide production support, web, and social media design.
The Open Call Podcast with Elisa Insua
Dec 2 2021
The Open Call Podcast with Elisa Insua
The Open Call Podcast, hosted by Anne Stagg and Laura Tanner, features conversations with contemporary artists about their work. This week, The Open Call Podcast is happy to host Elisa Insua, a globally recognized, conceptual artist from Buenos Aires, Argentina. Elisa has a background in economic theory and her work explores consumption and waste as they relate to finances and politics. She assembles mosaics and sculptures from recognizable objects that have been discarded. The dense, rich tactility of her artworks underscores the different semantics and unexpected relationships between the embedded objects and the overall structure. Through these juxtapositions, Insua deftly posits new questions and narratives. Elisa’s work embodies the expression, ‘one person’s trash is another person’s treasure’. She literally transforms cast away bits into lux visual critiques of socio-economic policies. The associations she draws between the objects she assembles in relation to her finished works is not dissimilar to the way that micro and macro economics work to show how separate things come together to inform a broader understanding of the bigger picture. Giant barcodes are formed from plastic containers placed alongside deprecated technologies like old cell phones, various monetary instruments are created from cheap and colorful plastic beads, and large razor wire fences are assembled from hundreds of gold chains and bits of lost or discarded jewelry. Insua uses color and texture to lure viewers to explore her work in detail and simultaneously examine our relationship to the objects we see. Check out this episode to learn more about the concepts and processes that frame Insua's work. Also be sure to visit out our Instagram -- @the_open_call_podcast -- where we share images of the artwork that we talk about on the podcast. We release new episodes of The Open Call every 2 weeks however we will be taking some time off in December for the holidays. Listen to some of our past episodes to get caught up and we will be back in January 2022 with  new episodes. Special thanks to Susan Cooper for voicing our Outro, Scott Stagg for composing our music, Judah Bachmann for creating a new version of our podcast music and for sound engineering, and to our wonderful research assistants:  Ally Price,  Nikki Cohen, and Erin Miller  who provide production support, web, and social media design.
The Open Call Podcast with Conrad Bakker
Nov 18 2021
The Open Call Podcast with Conrad Bakker
The Open Call Podcast, hosted by Anne Stagg and Laura Tanner, features conversations with contemporary artists about their work. In this episode of The Open Call Podcast, we talk with Conrad Bakker who lives and works in Illinois where he is a  Professor of Art at The University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign. Conrad makes carved and painted sculptures of ordinary objects and inserts them into existing economies as a way to challenge value, perception and our relationship with the objects around us. His works range from everyday things like doorstops and electrical cords to generation defining icons like his large scale crumpled blockbuster sign. He places these objects in consumer contexts and galleries that are often transformed into a provisional marketplace.  Many of Conrad’s projects are participatory. His immersive installations harness the power of nostalgia to encourage conversations about the many political economies associated with a single item.Check out this episode to learn more about the concepts and processes that frame his work. Also be sure to visit out our Instagram -- @the_open_call_podcast -- where we share images of the artwork that we talk about on the podcast. New episodes of The Open Call are released every 2 weeks so be sure to check back to discover new artists and learn more about their practice. Special thanks to Susan Cooper for voicing our Outro, Scott Stagg for composing our music, Judah Bachmann for our new music version as well as sound engineering, and to all of our wonderful research assistants:  Erin Miller, Ally Price, and Nikki Cohen who provide production support, web, and social media design.
The Open Call Podcast in Conversation with Barbara Schreiber
Jun 17 2021
The Open Call Podcast in Conversation with Barbara Schreiber
The Open Call Podcast hosted by Anne Stagg and Laura Tanner, features conversations with contemporary artists about their work. In this episode of The Open Call Podcast, we talked with Barbara Schreiber who lives and works in Charlotte, North Carolina. Barbara is a painter whose work explores big ideas articulated through small moments. She describes her practice as combining pretty pictures with ugly subjects. Though her work carries political, social, and psychological undertones, she avoids direct commentary in favor of exploring moods and feelings through a domestic lens. Through the use of dark humor, her narrative paintings address threats presented by development, natural and human-made disaster, greed, or obliviousness. Barbara Schreiber's paintings deftly embed challenging content into quiet works that expand as the viewer considers the image before them. Barbara’s work is deeply intuitive and she sensitively explores interior worlds in her meticulous and richly detailed landscapes, animals and characters. In addition to the podcast, we keep an active Instagram where we share images of the artwork that we talk about. Discover our Instagram @the_open_call_podcast. This episode wraps up Season 2 of The Open Call. Check back for Season 3 in early fall. Special thanks to Susan Cooper for voicing our Outro, Scott Stagg for composing our music, and to our wonderful research assistants:  Erin Miller and Alyssia Price who provide our web and social media design.
The Open Call Podcast with Joelle Dietrick
Jun 2 2021
The Open Call Podcast with Joelle Dietrick
The Open Call Podcast hosted by Laura Tanner and Anne Stagg, features conversations with contemporary artists about their work. In this episode of The Open Call Podcast, we talked with  Joelle Dietrick. Joelle is a multi-disciplinary artist who works in digital and physical realms, creating conceptual artworks that thematically champion the individual in the face of large economic systems, and inevitably, those system failures. Joelle's studio practice is steeped in research, reacting to current social and political events. Her work is often characterized by warped architectural elements, large scale shifts and bright color. In her work, she calls into question the relationship between person, place, and the concealed global systems that govern our everyday lives. In addition to her independent studio practice, Joelle also collaborates with her husband, Owen Mundy, who is an artist and coder. Together with Joelle’s background in painting, illustration, and design, they pool their skill sets to expand their approach to subjects and create interactive artworks that extend into the public sphere. There is often an educational component to their collaborative work, exposing surveillance capitalism and digital trackers, and reminding us to balance our virtual interactions with those in the material world. Their collaborative works often break free from the gallery and engage the viewer through more accessible platforms like public spaces, websites, and our cell phones: bringing awareness of the symbiotic relationship between all of these spaces. Joelle is on the faculty at Davidson in North Carolina School. New podcast episodes are released bi-weekly on Thursdays. In addition to the podcast, we keep an active Instagram where we share images of the artwork that we talk about. Discover our Instagram @the_open_call_podcast. Special thanks to Susan Cooper for voicing our Outro, Scott Stagg for composing our music, and to our wonderful research assistants:  Erin Miller and Alyssia Price who help with web and social media design.
The Open Call Podcast with Michelle Forsyth
May 19 2021
The Open Call Podcast with Michelle Forsyth
The Open Call Podcast hosted by Anne Stagg and Laura Tanner, features conversations with contemporary artists about their work. In this episode of The Open Call Podcast, we talked with  Michelle Forsyth who lives and works in Toronto, Canada. Michelle creates richly detailed artworks that combine a multitude of artistic practices including painting, sculpture, fabric and clothing design, printmaking and photography, as well as others. She designs new patterns as a way to mark her identity: hand drawing films, which are then screen-printed onto fabric, and sewn into the garments that she wears in her “Improvisations” photographs. She thinks of these layered patterns as painterly skins that simultaneously evade and describe her individuality. Michelle has advanced stage Parkinson’s and over the course of her artistic career, she has had to contend with the increasing physical limitations of her body. Because her work is often characterized by very labor intensive processes, her hand has effectively marked the progression of her disease. Michelle is an Associate Professor at OCAD, Ontario College of Art & Design University where she teaches painting and graduate studies.New podcast episodes are released bi-weekly on Thursdays. In addition to the podcast, we keep an active Instagram where we share images of the artwork that we talk about. Discover our Instagram @the_open_call_podcast. Special thanks to Susan Cooper for voicing our Outro, Scott Stagg for composing our music, and to our wonderful research assistants:  Erin Miller and Alyssia Price who help with web and social media design.
The Open Call Podcast with Elizabeth Alexander
May 5 2021
The Open Call Podcast with Elizabeth Alexander
The Open Call Podcast hosted by Laura Tanner and Anne Stagg, features conversations with contemporary artists about their work. In this episode of The Open Call Podcast, we talked with  Elizabeth Alexander. Elizabeth creates intricate installations and sculptural collages from deconstructed wall paper. Her installations often present objects associated with domestic spaces. They are impeccably cast and then covered in lush floral cut-outs. Often the work looks like it is in the process of decay or growth and she presents her work as a way to interrogate the ways that the home influences public life and vice versa. Her interdisciplinary installations touch on themes of domestic power dynamics, class, and the home as a site of generative ideologies. Her work asks the question, "what if the objects embody the emotions of the people in the space?" Elizabeth also performs in her work. Elizabeth is on the faculty at the University of North Carolina School of the Arts in Winston-Salem where she teaches sculpture.New podcast episodes are released bi-weekly on Thursdays. In addition to the podcast, we keep an active Instagram where we share images of the artwork that we talk about. Discover our Instagram @the_open_call_podcast. Special thanks to Susan Cooper for voicing our Outro, Scott Stagg for composing our music, and to our wonderful research assistants:  Ainsley Coty, Syd Cole, Erin Miller, Alyssia Price, and Christian Pruitt who help with production.