Our Jan 2023 guest is sculptor Rebecca Kaye Chapman, interviewed by the students at McDaniel High School.
BECKEY KAYE CHAPMAN
I was born in Los Angeles in 1976 and reared under the love of a hard-working single mom and older sister. In my later teens, I was bit by the wanderlust bug and spent many years as a transient youth: riding freight trains and squatting abandoned buildings. I met many creative types and joined an underground circus called Circus Discordia, performing as a firedancer and puppeteer. After living in my van and working seasonal agricultural jobs, I was able to save up for a mask carving intensive in Indonesia with the Dell Arte Study Abroad program. My newfound love for Indonesian woodcarving directed an opportunity to become a Darmasiswa Scholar and study Wayang Golek at Sekolah Tinngi Seni Indonesia, Bandung. I also collaborated and stayed with the Javanese artist community, Taring Padi in Yogyakarta. In 2004, I enrolled in California College of the Arts with a major in Sculpture and graduated with distinction in 2007. After graduation I worked as the Sculpture Shop Technician at UC Berkeley. I also attended Welding and Machine Technology programs at Laney College before getting accepted into SFSU MFA program in 2010. During grad school, I worked as faculty member and studio manager for The Crucible, a non-profit art space in Oakland. I moved to Portland, OR with my dog, Kerosene, in 2013 to enjoy hikes in the beautiful PNW and embark on my own fabrication business and art career. Since moving to Portland, I’ve worked several odd jobs including being a bridge operator for Multnomah County and an Exhibition Preparation Specialist for Oregon Historical Society. I continue to produce art and have exhibited both locally and internationally. My side business, Metal Lark, is located in NE Portland where I design and fabricate custom metal work. I live in North Portland with my partner, Jeff Schwilk, a well-known wildlife photographer and photojournalist.