Manneck ads a twist to visual art
November 18, 2016
Holly Manneck wants her art to unite the past and present and she meshes the two times together to make 50s and 60s images relevant to the modern day.
"I draw a lot from history because I find it interesting," Manneck said during a telephone interview from Florida. "I try to use popular culture from different time periods and develop a visual relationship between the old and the new."
Holly Manneck's "Pop & Twisted" exhibit will open Saturday, Nov. 19, and run through Jan. 8 at the Kimball Art Center [KAC].
The artist's style is a direct reflection of her life experiences.
"I have a degree in social work and traveled all over the world and lived in Germany, Norway and on a cruise ship in the Caribbean, so I've always been interested in culture and people," Manneck said. "I always had a camera and always had a darkroom for developing, but I decided to go back to school and study graphic design."
To get her degree, she had to take painting and printmaking classes.
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"All of those skills blended together when computers came into play and I was able to mix the graphic art and fine art skills," Manneck said. "A style emerged and I call it New American Pop Art, because it's a new style that merges technical and fine art aspects."
Manneck dabbled in different mediums to find her current style.
"I used to do non-objective abstract, and worked with texture and color," she said. "I used oils as well, but we started spending half the year in the West and half the year in the East, so that got difficult to continue painting with oils. So I switched to acrylics."
At that same time, Manneck began taking more photographs.
"I tried to learn the history of the areas we visited through the photos," she said. "Slowly, my style with photography started to come into play."
In addition to her own photos, Manneck seeks old press and entertainment photos for her art.
"I will go into consignment stores and find things that I can use," she said. " I usually find something that I have connected with in the past or something that I recently connected with."
The Beatles, Marilyn Monroe, Sean Connery's James Bond and the Rolling Stones are some of the icons Manneck uses.
"For example, I'll use Beatles, which is part of my time period and still relevant today, and mix them with social-media imagery," she said. "I try to create a dialog between the images. I feel when we draw from history we learn and become a richer people. When I see an image I really connect to, I try to find how it can be relevant today. That's where the inspiration comes from."
Manneck also uses vintage magazine and newspaper ads and images of women.
"I use the women to signify female empowerment," she said. "There haven't been a lot of female pop artists, so I take the female aspect of it seriously."
Manneck said the only challenge of her career is time management.
"It's because I never have enough time to do what I want to do," she said, laughing. "I'll get stuck on a subject and want to continue working at it.
"Sometimes I keep working on a piece and then I'll have to put it away for a little, because it may not speak to me the way I want it to," Manneck said. "I found when I do that, I need more time to work on the quality of my art, so that it has a richness to it."
That aside, Manneck feels lucky to create art for a living.
"Not everyone is able to be creative because of certain restraints, this means the world to me," she said. "The fact that I have worked hard and have my own studio to create my own time, it all makes my work more rich.
"In fact, if I take a break and stop painting, I start getting antsy," she said. "I don't know. I think I just need something to do."
Some Park City residents may be familiar with Manneck's work because of her appearances at the Park City Kimball Arts Festival.
"I've don't that three or four times," she said. "I love it up there. I'm from Vermont and Park City reminds me of Vermont, except everything is bigger up there.
"I appreciate the Park City area and the Kimball Art Center," Manneck said. "The Arts Festival is one of the highlights of my summer."
The "Pop & Twisted" show is the first time Manneck will show at the Kimball Art Center.
"They approached me this summer and we worked out this time period because it worked out the best," she said. "The organization works together with artists and so for me to show at the Art Center is an honor for me."
Holly Manneck's "Pop & Twisted" exhibit will run from Saturday, Nov. 19, to Sunday, Jan. 8, at the Kimball Art Center, 1401 Kearns Blvd. For more information, call 435-649-8882 or visit http://www.kimballartcenter.org.