In the Studio with Bill Reid

In January, Curator of Exhibitions Lena Vigna interviewed RAM Artist Fellowship Recipient Bill Reid.

Lena Vigna: Please share the basics of your art career thus far: education, years working, etc. How long have you been a part of the Racine/Kenosha community?

Bill Reid: My family moved to Racine in the summer of 1968 just in time for the bogus revolution. I went to art school in the mid-to-late 70s at Kansas City Art Institute and the Cranbrook Academy of Art where I received my BFA and MFA in Sculpture. I have been a part of this community for something approaching a geological span of time. 

Vigna: Would you please describe your work—what materials you use, what subject matters you explore?

Reid: In general, I make sculpture using steel sheet metal and rods with a few hand tools and an oxyacetylene torch. The pieces are painted using a primer, and then, latex enamel paint. There is an affinity with words and the goofiness of the English language. Pi pie pirates, pileated pianos, etc. How does this come about?

Vigna: How often are you in your studio? Do you work outside of your studio much or at all?

Reid: I go into the studio pretty much every day of the year—most of the time I get Christmas off. The studio at The Prairie School is where I do most of my work. There is also a studio at home where I do painting.

Vigna: What inspires you most these days? Also, what do you go to bed thinking about most nights?

Reid: Inspiration––weight of time, weighting rooms, the miracle of birds, and other animals despite the persistence of hammers.

Probably the most asked question I get is “what are your dreams like?” Actually, in general, I get a sound sleep and dream in line with most. Sometimes I will be half-sleeping, and work out a sculpture situation, gnawing at words or ideas like a dog would a bone, twisting things around and looking differently at it until it comes together.