Wendi Schneider Interviewed by VoyageDenver

Posted on Jul 7, 2021

Catherine Couturier Gallery is pleased to share VoyageDenver's recent interview with gallery artist Wendi Schneider.

Wendi Schneider, VoyageDenver, Interview, Catherine Couturier Gallery

Daily Inspiration: Meet Wendi Schneider

Today we’d like to introduce you to Wendi Schneider.

Hi Wendi, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
Growing up in an artistic family in the lush Southern beauty of Memphis set me on my path. Both my mother and grandmother painted when I was a child; my mother was also a gifted designer and instilled my love of collecting old things. I doodled my way through school, watched old movies, read novels, studied art history catalogs and cookbooks, then studied painting and art history in college. After graduating from Newcomb College in New Orleans, I worked in the hotel and restaurant business in the French Quarter, which further enhanced my love of the city and cuisine. In 1982, while working by day as a designer, illustrator and creative in the marketing department of The Times-Picayune newspaper, I bought a camera to create references for my oil paintings. Spellbound with the speed of creating an image and the alchemy of the darkroom, photography quickly became my chosen art form. Photographs expressed my feelings in a more powerful yet subtle way than my paintings, even more so after I merged the two by layering oils on my silver gelatin prints.

My last project at the newspaper was recreating the 1901 Picayune’s Creole Cook Book, which I was assigned to design, photograph, art direct, copy edit, and oversee production. The project wed my love of cooking, books, photography, antiques, and my somewhat obsessive attention to detail. I then moved to New York in 1988 to open my photography business and added advertising and editorial to my fine artwork, including book covers and many years of freelancing for the original Victoria Magazine. I continued working in these areas when I moved to Denver to marry in 1994, adding web and print design and art direction as we raised our child. By 2010, I felt the need to return to my personal work, and in 2012, I began an ongoing series of photographs gilded with precious metals called ‘States of Grace.’

We all face challenges, but looking back would you describe it as a relatively smooth road?
I have reinvented myself several times over the decades when I felt the desire to try something different or the necessity to find another path for income. Each experience has somehow paved the way for the next and offered me time to create. Before I moved to NY, I visited three times to show my work to galleries, editors and art directors. The first two trips were deeply disappointing, though eventually educational. On the third exploration, I was fortunate to be introduced to friends of friends and fruitful connections began to be made. It was a leap of faith and determination to make the move, as I had limited experience in the medium and no knowledge of running a photography studio or business. I kept things small, worked out of my apartment, promoted my work to art directors and work followed. I made mistakes that offered opportunities for growth.

Wendi Schneider, Crescent and Crow, 2018, Catherine Couturier Gallery
Crescent and Crow, Denver, CO, 2018
Wendi Schneider, Flamingo, 2012, Catherine Couturier Gallery
Flamingo, New Orleans, LA, 2012

To continue the article, click here. To view more work by Wendi Schneider, please visit her Artist Page.


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