Stacy Lynn Waddell at V&V


Cher amis,


We're honored to feature the transformative work of Durham-based artist, Stacy Lynn Waddell, at our store, available for purchase through August 10th. 


With innovative processes including heat and laser technology, gilding, and embossing and debossing, Stacy mines the intersections of real and imagined aspects of history and culture, while illuminating questions of authorship, beauty and ideology. Her work has been exhibited at The North Carolina Museum of Art, The Studio Museum in Harlem, the Institute of Contemporary Art in Boston, among other prominent venues. Stacy has been named one of The New Superstars of Southern Art in Oxford American Magazine, and has received a Joan Mitchell Foundation Painters and Sculptors Grant, among others.


Her works Hot Head (2006), Every Creation Myth Needs a Devil (2014), DR (Desiree Rogers, 2015) and Damaged Emergency Blanket (2015) are on view at V&V now. We're also excited to announce an exclusive opportunity for Vert & Vogue clients to commission Stacy to create a portrait of a loved one, as a special occasion gift, in either gold leaf on canvas, or mixed media on paper. For more information about this opportunity or works for sale, please email or call us at 919-797-2767


Read more about Stacy in our interview with her below. Thanks to V&V friend, Teka Selman, founder of Selman Contemporary, for partnering with us to produce this project. 








Give us the Stacy Lynn Waddell brief life story. What was your childhood like? Where did you grow up?
My childhood was a good one. I grew up between Raleigh, NC and Louisburg, NC. My mother grew up in Franklin County on family land that was a working farm. Those lands were passed down to my grandmother from her father. Being able to come from that legacy gave me a particular affection for family, the land and work.

How were you first introduced to the world of art?
I was introduced to “making things” through my mother’s creative production. She made our clothes and had a particular style about her that gave me the permission to think about things in a different way. I came to know art through a range of experiences. Two of the most lasting happened when I entered fourth grade. My best friend at the time was a girl whose father was a designer. Her mother who’d died a few years before had been a fiber artist. Sleepovers at her house were so interesting as I was exposed to art materials and an “aesthetic” that was very different from my what I’d known. The other experience was Saturday art classes with Richard Craven at the North Carolina Art Museum, when it was located downtown in Raleigh, NC.



When you first started creating how did you discover the burn technique we see in Sparkle?
Deciding to burn paper as a means of drawing came around 2005. At the time, I had just started a Master of Fine Art’s program at UNC-Chapel Hill after having been a high school art teacher. My cohorts each had a technical direction but I did not. I remember hearing my mother (or perhaps one of my aunts or uncles) talk about directing the sun’s heat through a piece of glass to burn a leaf or set fire to paper and it resonated with me. Heat and fire connote a vast array of meaning and allow me to work with tools that are not typical in art-making. Operating outside of traditional approaches has become important to me.

Of all of your techniques - heat/laser technology, accumulation, embossing/debossing, interference and gilding - which gives you the most fulfillment? Which challenges you the most?
I don’t have a favorite, but gilding has become the technique that I think most about. The results provide a wide range of conceptual triggers. I am also most unsure of the medium as the optical effects and impact of the work is much less graphic, and relies heavily on the viewer’s willingness to have a slower observational experience.





Can you tell us the intention behind the Loretta Lynch piece? 
I’ve always been interested in portraiture, especially creating images of women that ask the viewer to reconsider their relationship with that person or to consider them at all. Loretta Lynch came to me as a subject not only as an African-American Attorney General in the Obama Administration and native of Durham, NC, but as a beacon of hope and power and a symbol of martyrdom all rolled into one. That type of tension is attractive to me when selecting a subject.

What excites you about doing commissioned portraits? What does the process look like for these projects?
I approach commissioned portraits having always been fascinated with Warhol’s hands on approach to his subjects via the Polaroid camera. I allow the subject to choose an image of themselves for me to work from. In the current age of image proliferation, people have many choices from which to choose from. Also, people tend to be tentative about having a portrait made. Selecting the reference image gives them a chance to collaborate with me and have some influence over the process.




View Stacy's work on display now-August 10th at V&V, 353 W. Main Street Durham, NC or contact us for additional information at 919-797-2767