Artist: Cynthia Pecore
Art Submission(s): Poems – “Kitty Slippers”, “The Occupant”, “Viet-Nam Memorial”, “Autumn Interlude”
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Cynthia received her BA in Theater, leaning towards set design more than anything, and gained a lot of experience during that time in school. “I owe everything, as far as the theater goes, to Mr. Frick, our counselor.” She says during the interview for the showcase. “I was painfully shy– I called it fatally shy– because I was just no communication whatsoever. He suggested I take theater and speech and that it would help bring me out of my shell… and he was right! I fell in love with theater and everything followed from there.”
We are excited to be spotlighting Cynthia’s talents and experience in this year’s showcase through digital presentation of her poetry, and an interview about her creative processes, and thoughts on culture and art.
Autumn Interlude, The Occupant, Viet-Nam Memorial, Kitty Slippers
We’ll start with describing your creative work/practice: What tools do you use? Do you have a routine?
I really have to be inspired to work. I was looking, so to speak, for something to express about COVID and everything anyway, because, let’s face it. It’s something that hasn’t happened before. I saw something about the Vietnam memorial and that inspired me to write something of my own. I write whatever comes to me, sometimes they come in stanzas, sometimes it’s only a sentence or part of a sentence. I”ll be writing that down and rewriting as I go. Sometimes I’m still rewriting by the time I put it down.
What does your work aim to say? Why do you create?
Like one of my friends said, “it’s either that, or die.”
Who/What are your biggest influences? Who/what inspires you?
Current events or just pulling something out of the ether.
How do you share your creative practice and with whom?
With friends, but I don’t think I can really get an honest reaction until it’s someone outside my circle.
How have you developed your practice? What challenges and opportunities have you come across? How has your practice changed over time?
It hasn’t. Seriously. I do the same things all the time. I got into a routine of being able to study and what have you in college and that hasn’t changed. Now instead of studying, I write.
Cynthia often shares her creative practice with friends, but believes at times that she can get the most honest reactions from audiences outside of her circle.
What are you most proud of? Why?
I have to say the poems “Heroes” & the “Vietnam Memorial”. I think those two are some of my best. The emotions that they evoke. I always wanted to be able to tell stories.
Has living at Foundation Communities impacted your practice? If so, how?
Yeah, it jump started it again! There are a lot of artists and musicians who live here. Being around their creative process jumpstarts my creativity.
What art/culture trend do you love right now? What trend do you wish you could forget?
Everyone’s pretty much doing their own thing– it’s a lot of variety. I appreciate that, I think it’s great.
What delights you? What brings you joy?
My puppy Luke and my kitty Pumpkin.
When it comes to giving advice, Cynthia wants people to know that even if you don’t think you can do something, try it anyway.
What is the worst piece of advice you’ve been given?
People who tell you not to believe in yourself really suck.
What piece of advice would you like to give?
Even if you don’t think that you can do it, try.
What’s your favorite way to celebrate?
Besides going out to eat or something… I go out to get a magnum pint of ice cream (hazelnut) or a bottle of champagne.
What’s your favorite book/piece of writing, song/album, movie/TV show, play/live performance, piece of art, food/drink, place, or animal?
Book- anything by Richard Bach. A Bridge Across Forever is my favorite book of his. Too many songs & albums. Movie: a sci-fi movie called Star Man by Richard Carpenter. I expected it to be a horror story like everything else and it was a big surprise. Play: Camelot and Chorus Line/Monet’s water lilies. Food, champagne and shrimp. In Austin, my favorite place is the top of Mt. Bonnell, but I do like South Padre Island. Horses, favorite animal. Several favorite colors: blue, purple, teal, pink
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up? What’s the last thing you do before going to bed?
I turn on the tv for company (I don’t necessarily pay attention to it); I always say a little prayer before I go out and take Luke for a walk– just touching base with God. .
Outside of her work and creation, taking care of animals and children is really important to Cynthia.
What role do artists and culture-bearers have in society? What role could/should they have?
Reflection of what’s going on in the world. They show people themselves- good and bad.
What do creatives need in order to thrive? What do you need in order to be creative?
Something that’s really important to you that has nothing to do with your work:
Taking care of animals and children
What was the last thing that made you: Laugh? Cry? Blush?
Laugh: My doggy, he’s very silly. He lays on his back in his chair with all four feet up in the air, grinning. / Cry: my mother’s passing away
For Cynthia, an artist is anyone who wants to give back to humanity. “To be creative is to produce stories.”
What are you really into right now?
Interior design games on the internet.
Who is an artist? What does it mean to be creative?
Anyone’s an artist who wants to give back to humanity. To be creative is to produce stories.
What question didn’t we ask that you wish we had? What question do you have for other artist, creatives, and culture-bearers?
How do YOU do it?
I am very proud of humanity for coming together through all this (COVID) and coming up with very creative ways to carry on.
Cynthia was one of three artists to participate in our COVID-19 PSA Poster Series.
You can see the posters at the University of Florida Center for Arts & Medicine media resource library here.
If you want to learn more about the project, you can read more here.