Farida Hughes


Mentoring Philosophy

My goal as a mentor is to help my protégée develop a strong studio practice, hone critical thinking skills and establish the foundations for a long and rewarding artistic career. I enjoy the creative process and feel feedback is necessary in the studio in order to maintain a healthy progression with one’s art. I believe a mentor should be genuinely interested, engaged, positive and supportive, and strive to understand their protégée’s interests and goals.  I aim to take a supportive role in the development of my protégée’s career in any way that I can through the knowledge that I have gained: whether by guiding in marketing and portfolio building, seeking out exhibitions and crafting shows, being a strong coach and role model for a continuous studio practice, advising in methods and materials, or sharing in general art world/art market knowledge based on my own experiences.

As a mentor I would encourage my protégée to understand art as a lifelong engagement and process of development, as I do in my own artistic practice. I believe it is important to work out ideas over time, starting with simple concepts and letting them grow in an organic way. Artists should continually question and think critically. Artists need to be aware of their work not only within the studio but in its place in the world as they strive to fashion a career. As an artist and a teacher I help students engage in a responsible attitude toward themselves as artists within a community of artists and the public. As a mentor I aim to help build an awareness of the artistic world, help my protégée develop career goals and plan strategically to meet them over time. I will encourage her to establish short-term and long-term goals in the studio as well as with the business part of being an artist, and to engage in regular self-evaluation to continue to grow.

Artist Statement

I am a painter exploring landscape as an abstracted space of human passage and interaction. I am interested in group dynamics in a given world. Though I explore painting spaces as formal exercises in color, collective shape and movement, I consider issues of viewing/seeing, group interaction with natural and artificial boundaries and community participation. My paintings are often an abstract envisioning of crowds of people from an aerial vantage point. They express the assembling and dispersing of crowds, mass movement, and spaces formed or forming between people and groups. Places, events and situations where groups collect continue to inspire me. Masses and voids are important elements in my work. Objects and landscape elements become negative space through which flows the activity of human interaction.

This current work began with an abstracted exploration of parade routes and crowds lining up along them, spilling into the parade space and dispersing at the edges. Observations and research lead me to further explore flow, crowd patterns and group dynamics where people of differing demographics mingle. Within these paintings one can see emerging complexities: colors that indicate a flow of movement through the composition, groups that work together within the whole, forms that have been painted out to leave breathing space and a passage into the crowd. I consider spatial relationships and collective movement as things fall into place along paths, or bump up against the edges created by architectural and natural boundaries existing in our landscape. Emptying the space of these boundaries and pictorial references allows me freedom to focus specifically on the collective shapes and movements of and within a group.

Farida Hughes, "Outdoor Music"

Farida Hughes,

Farida Hughes, "Midday at the State Fair"

Farida Hughes,

Farida Hughes, "Past the Carousel"

Farida Hughes,

Farida Hughes, "Waiting Lines"

Farida Hughes,

Farida Hughes, "Arena 3"