Interviews with Local Musicians and Artists of the Hudson Valley
By Ami Madeleine
Van Wyck Gazette: Thanks for interviewing with us! So when or where did your life as an artist begin?
Jamie Sanin: I’m so happy to be interviewed. Thank you! I feel like I grew up surrounded by art and didn’t even know it. My preschool and school experiences were luckily full of craft time (a thing that unfortunately isn’t super true anymore in many schools). I spent many a weekend doing things like painting birdhouses or doing latch hook or making jewelry with my mom. I started taking dance classes at age 3 and never stopped, and there was always music on in our house, in my room, in the car... all of which I think directly contributed to me being a well-rounded and pretty happy person. I realized that having access to arts can make life really fruitful and enjoyable, so I try to use my skills and experiences to both share my own art and to create opportunities for folks to engage whenever I can. I got my degree in Visual Arts Education and learned so much about the importance of advocating for accessible arts, no matter how formal or re-creational.
Van Wyck Gazette: It’s awesome you’re creating opportunities for others and making the arts more accessible! What are some projects you’re currently working on?
Jamie Sanin: Current endeavors! Forever changing (hahaha). So currently, I guess I’m really into my job at the Orange County Arts Council, where we advocate for more art in the OC and connect artists and the community together as each has so much to offer the other. I’ve also been making these hand painted T-shirts since the spring and those have been super fun. They’re a great way for me to unwind as I make them and also allow me to collaborate with those who order as they are all made to order. Again, using my gifts while giving folks accessibility. I think that leaks into everything I do...including CelebrateWomxn845.
Van Wyck Gazette: What is CelebrateWomxn845?
Jamie Sanin: CelebrateWomxn845 is a project that aims to organize, recognize, and celebrate womxn (women/women-identifying) artists. It’s been extremely fun, humbling, educational, and inspiring so far. We had a 3-week long gallery series in January 2018 that included 55 visual and performing womxn artists and the amount of support was unreal. We also held an amazing all day benefit show “WOMXNFEST” to showcase performing artists and further support the mission. It was awesome giving womxn performers a day to come together, meet one another and showcase their talents, and it was extremely humbling to meet so many folks that were down to attend, help promote, volunteer and support womxn/a womxn-run project. It feels really good (again) to be able to use my organizational skills to put together events that provide opportunity to womxn artists, a population that is statistically underrepresented. It’s definitely been a lesson in “if you build it, they will come” and I’m super grateful for the network we have so far and for those who continue to join our fam.
Van Wyck Gazette: As you said “If you build it, they will come”. Is the Hudson Valley your ideal place to build these creative projects?
Jamie Sanin: Being from the Hudson Valley (Washingtonville), growing up I always wanted to leave it. I felt like there was nothing for me to do as a kid and I wasn’t aware of any artists living there. Now, I obviously know that the HV is FULL of living, working artists. I try and work with kids whenever I can through things like camps, workshops, after school programs, etc. to show them that there ARE artists here - let alone “young cool ones”! I think what I value the most about the HV art scene is the community aspect. I’ve made such great, genuine, supportive, and healthy relationships with so many creatives since graduating college and they’ve really helped me feel confident in all of my endeavors. I think I need a positive community to really thrive and feel at home, so I appreciate it the most.
Van Wyck Gazette: What feels the most challenging to you as a young artist in the Hudson Valley? Or in today’s world in general?
Jamie Sanin: I guess something that’s been coming up in conversation is the amount of endurance it takes to be a “successful” creative? The process of creating work, of constantly creating work, of social media marketing, of networking in person, of staying educated, of supporting your peers, of applying to shows/residencies etc, of being rejected, of not having money, of working a job you might not like to support yourself... it really adds up and can get really discouraging when all that hard work takes a long time to get you recognized. It’s definitely work, but I think it’s doable work, but it’s definitely a lifestyle.
Van Wyck Gazette: Who inspires you to keep doing what you do?
Jamie Sanin: I get inspired from so many different directions. My friends inspire me, social justice warriors inspire me, Lady Gaga inspires me, fashion inspires me, pouring cream into coffee inspires me, little kids dancing inspire me... EVERY direction.
Van Wyck Gazette: And what new projects or events of yours can we look forward to next?
Jamie Sanin: I’m working on another CelebrateWomxn845 gallery series, which will be a 1 month occasion starting in January 2019 in New Paltz, NY. Full info coming so soon! Also, through my job at the OC Arts Council, I’ve been co-facilitating these events called “New Rules”, which are mixer events for creatives under age 35 in the Hudson Valley. That’s all I’ve got on paper so far, but ideas and opportunities are always hatching so stay tuned.
See Jamie’s work at JamieSanin.com
Find her on Facebook and Instagram (@jamiesanin)
Also find CelebrateWomxn845 on Facebook and Instagram