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Victoria Connors

Tell us something about your family, where you grew up, went to school, etc.  Any mentors?

I grew up in a single mother household and we moved a lot when I was in grade school. One thing I appreciate about my mom was she often would take us camping or hiking. We always lived within the Finger Lakes region from Hemlock Lake to the Canandaigua area. My grandmother and grandfather were also a big part of my life. I often worked with my grandfather’s commercial sewing machines used for carpet binding. My grandmother took a major role in raising me as well later on.  I started college while still attending high school which I am very thankful for. I went to Finger Lakes Community College then transferred to SUNY Geneseo. I don’t work in the fields I majored in but thankfully I didn’t attend art school and put myself in major debt either. My grandmother was my mentor and rock throughout my life until her passing in 2020. I took a long break from art after her passing.


Which artists have you been most influenced by?

My fiber artworks often have a very impressionist feeling to them. I don’t particularly have a favorite artist or one that influenced my art. I feel the most drive and inspiration by my artists friends and ones I have met in my travels. I always enjoy the plein air artists out in the Sedona area as I feel we are trying to achieve the same goal but different mediums. capturing a beautiful moment in nature with art.


What type of art do you create?  Has your style changed over time?

I have always enjoyed creating. Oil painting was my first medium of choice growing up. I first experimented with wool while making fedoras and fancy hats. I then discovered needle felting after seeing a demo and fell in love with the medium. I moved to Sheldrake near Cayuga Lake soon after I discovered needle felting. It was perfect timing as I lived right in the heart of the Finger Lakes region and was surrounded by inspiring scenery. I was able to catch sunrise or sunset on Cayuga Lake and Seneca lake. Then I’d often sell my artwork in Ithaca and off the wine trails. I always enjoy doing landscapes and plein air but now I am branching out more into different techniques with the influence of nature. Currently I am doing more abstract flower pieces with more 3D reliefs  to them. I am doing more felt painting with relief and embroidery. Not so much landscapes but still nature themed.


What inspires you to create art? Are there real life situations that inspire you?

Traveling to beautiful places was my biggest inspiration for the longest time. I currently have a list of mountain ranges around the world I plan to plein air needle felt. I am also experimenting more with needle felt reliefs and mix fiber mediums.


What is your favorite artist tool? 

I really enjoy the new felting machines that have come out the last few years. I wish these had come out sooner when I was creating my national park series!  All the large pieces I’ve done by hand have really taken a toll on my shoulder and wrist.


How important are titles to your art?

The majority of my art is nature themed, landscapes and national parks. I always had trouble with titles and artist statements. Either the landscape brings you joy and you know the spot or if you don’t and the piece doesn’t move you the title isn’t going to either. I feel titles and statements are more important for nonobjective, abstract, and street.


What are the hardest and best parts of creating art?

The hardest part is just creating it and getting projects done. Feeling takes a toll on my  shoulders and wrists. After my national park series, I had to slow down on the size and number of pieces I could create. Then I started managing a farm and could not create for a while. Now I am setting back into creating and finding what direction to go is  a challenge.


Do you listen to music or podcasts when you create?  What type and is it inspiring?  I listen to a little bit of everything while creating. I often start the day with NPR. When I have a large project to complete, I often listen to house and techno music. It makes the felting process easier - dancing in place as I stab the wool.


Where can people go to see your art? 

Currently I have work on display at the Fort Hill Performance Art Center, Canandaigua NY. April 1st to May 28th. I will be posting new shows and updates on Facebook and Instagram.


Do you have a website or Facebook page for your work?

Currently I am on Facebook as, VLC Fiber Arts, and my Etsy link can be found on my page by clicking on the “Shop Now” logo.  I just changed my business name to VLC Fiber Arts so I am in the middle of changing my website over as well. You can also search Victoria Connors felt art and I come up in articles - Main Street Arts, PBS, an Australian radio podcast I did, and more. 


Do you accept commissions?

Yes, people will often send me pictures of vacation trips or pets to do commissions.


Do you have a piece of artwork that you’re most proud of? Why?

My Grand Tetons piece! I had to make two trips to the Grand Tetons National Park to complete this piece. It’s currently still my favorite mountain range and I am not sure if I want to give this piece up just yet.


Professionally, what’s your goal?

Currently, it is getting back into my professional art career. The market has changed since COVID and my sales were always networking or in person during art festivals. I never have issues selling my artwork, it’s just getting in front of new customers.  So far my goal is to host and teach one to two classes each month on needle felting. I am meeting with a PR advocate to work on my online sales so I can focus on creating.


Do you have a dream project that you’d like to create?

I would like to create a fiber art installation in a gallery. I want to do a mix fiber installation  with the theme of a secret garden or enchanted forest. I'll do giant felted flowers, butterflies, trees with faces. it be a mix of natural materials such as vines to use to make trees and then with wire, wool, felt, paper to make the flowers, butterflies, etc. I could make this UV reactive as well. The goal is to make the gallery feel like its own little ecosystem and living creature. 



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