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Meet Amanda Kachadoorian

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amanda Kachadoorian.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I am a San Diego native who grew up in Chula Vista, CA. After graduating from the University of California, Berkeley with a bachelor’s degree in art practice, I recently moved back to San Diego and currently work for the San Diego Museum of Art as a Young Art Assistant preparing the upcoming Young Art Exhibition.

My mother was born in Tijuana, Mexico, and my father is of Armenian and German descent. In that regard, my multicultural background has had a significant impact on my art practice and my understanding of multiculturalism in a post-colonial society. My passion for art-making started at an early age, and furthermore, my love for gardening and plant life has contributed to my art journey as well.

Please tell us about your art.
Currently, my art practice builds on research that focuses on multiculturalism, colonization, and globalization. In conjunction with that, I explore ethnobotany and botany to further develop my work. My artistic process explores individuals’ multi-ethnic heritage, for which I collect information about the native plants from their respective regions to create hybrid botanicals that speak to the individuals’ personalities, cultures, and backgrounds. While creating an atmosphere of identity through nature, I also use a personal motif, the “heart in a bowl,” which symbolizes the effects of displacement, isolation, and anxiety. Besides my main art and research practice, I enjoy creating work that is influenced by the poem “Nothing Gold Can Stay” written by Robert Frost. The poem reflects on the topics of ephemerality, and the constant cycle of life and death in relation to nature and human interaction aims to encapsulate a moment that is constantly fleeting. My medium of choice is oil painting; however, I also experiment with clay, fabrics, living plants, and various forms of mixed media to further develop and bring depth to my body of work. My work aims to create a dynamic atmosphere while encouraging dialogue and enlightenment about multiculturalism in a society that continues a practice of displacement and exclusivity.

As an artist, how do you define success and what quality, or characteristic do you feel is essential to success as an artist?
A common perception is that the success of an artist is defined by the number of solo exhibitions they get, their ability to get into prestigious residencies, and receiving awards from various institutions. While this is a good starting point, often throughout my artistic journey I don’t just focus on these metrics and the achievements that I have received along the way, but instead, I believe that true artistic excellence is shown by the drive and passion to continue working just as hard even after setbacks. Experiencing failure is an inevitable part of success in any field, but especially as an artist. The defining indicator of success is whether you’re willing to continue sacrificing the time and energy into your craft no matter the challenge you face.

To become a successful artist, you need to have discipline, determination, and the willingness to take risks. As an artist, to be disciplined means putting time into making art while also juggling other responsibilities such as work or relationships. When I am not at work, I spend my time working in the studio, applying for residencies or exhibitions, reading or researching for projects, and attending art-related events. As an artist, nobody is going to force you to make art, but instead, you need to maintain your stamina and continue to work on your practice.
To be successful as an artist, having determination is essential. As most students do, I wondered what my life was going to look like after graduation during my last semester at UC Berkeley. Many of my peers had similar concerns; however, collaborating with these amazing and like-minded individuals inspired me to create an art collective for all to keep coming together as a community even after we graduated. We named the collective Mixed Baggage Collective. I was determined to set up the first exhibition for the Mixed Baggage Collective during the summer of 2018. We had our group exhibition at The Front in San Ysidro titled “Volume 12.5”. That exhibition showcased artwork focusing on gender identity, mental illness, immigration, sexuality and much more. The artists that participated in the exhibition include Aileen Candelario, Alicia Lemus, Belinda Cortez, Clarissa Heredia, A.J. Parry, Emmanuel Flores, Horgan Fulton, Kira Oikawa-Clark, Linden Julian-Lehr, Narges Poursadeqi, Pauline Mccay, RMR, and me.

Another vital attribute to have when striving to achieve your artistic goals is to be willing to take risks. In the summer of 2018, I moved back to San Diego from Berkeley. At that time, I didn’t know anybody in the San Diegan art community. I feared that I could lose my drive to continue making art because I wasn’t around other artists that would inspire me. Thanks to Sofie Ramos, who was a graduate student at UC Berkeley, gave an artist talk and discussed her time at Bread&Salt in Barrio Logan. This led me to research the program and contact Daniel Barron Corrales, who was then the artist in residency. I decided to email him and asked if he needed an artist assistant. This gave me the opportunity to assist him with varies tasks in the studio. The reason Daniel gave me a chance to work with him because he thought that it was admirable that I took the risk to offer my assistance to an artist that I did not know. Through Daniel, I met many artists around San Diego. One of them was Katie Ruiz, the owner of Vivid Space. After being back in San Diego for a few months, Katie asked me to be a part of an exhibition in her space along with Sirena LaBurn, another amazing painter. Our joint exhibition was titled “Desert Gods.” The exhibition took place from October through November of 2018. It is these experiences that showed me that attending events and helping other fellow artists is a great way to create and find opportunities which will ultimately help grow your art career.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
My work will be showcased in a group exhibition titled, “Subterranean” at San Diego Mesa College Art Gallery, the open reception is on Thursday April 11th from 5-7PM. Another great opportunity to see my work in person and upcoming projects is during my artist-in-residence at Bread&Salt, during the month of July through September.

You can follow me on Instagram @art_from_rose, where I provide updates on my artistic activities. On my Instagram account, I post teasers about projects and upcoming events. My social media presence also includes my Facebook page; please follow me @artfromrose1. To see full images of my work, my artist statement, and curriculum vitae, please check out my website, www.amandakachadoorian.com.

 There are many ways to support my work, including requesting commission pieces or purchasing my art. If you are interested in having a painting inspired by your ethnic background and to learn more about my art pieces, feel free to email me at artfromrose@gmail.com. I use the contributions to buy materials to create more work and experiment with new mediums.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Mirko Mostaghimi

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