Our Artist for August is Beth Mostovoy, a fabulously creative photographer! Enjoy her story!
How do you describe yourself as an artist?
I am a Photographer and a collage wannabe.
Please describe your work.
The work that I sell in my booth has evolved into mostly travel images, with a focus on doors pictured in various locales and countries. I like everything, so there many many different kinds of images from which to choose – it is the blessing and the curse!
Describe the path you have taken to develop your art.
When growing up in Philly and the beaches in New Jersey, I took to writing, and for many years wrote poetry as my Muse. I then move to CA for grad school, an MA in Arts and Consciousness, and shifted my focus to work with seniors. As more light came to my life, poetry faded and was replaced by photography, which I pursued full time in 1999.
What inspires you?
Way too many things to name inspire me! I am very visual and I “see” pictures everywhere. I would be remiss to not acknowledge the Beach as the heart and soul of my Happiness (along with my Honeybear!)
What do you want to communicate with your art?
My tag line is: “Photographs that reveal the extra-ordinary in the ordinary moments which color our lives” captures my passion that life is “Right There” if we are open to seeing it and not texting. I capture and share those moments.
Do you teach?
I have taught various classes and lectures which include: “Seeing” - my vision behind the photos, “How to Jury for Art Festivals”, “Marketing” to sell your work, and ”Working with Seniors”.
Please talk about your artistic journey.
My artistic journey started out with my gift of writing. I was blessed to have a tremendous English teacher in High School, Essie Abrahams, who nurtured and encouraged me to explore my creativity. As I struggled with finding myself I had an outlet in poetry. It just poured out of me, probably keeping me sane. I remember taking one of those tests that is supposed to tell you what career you should pursue. I expected poetry or writing to be the first choice, and it was photography! Writing was second. It took many years, but eventually that test result was my reality! I had always liked taking pictures, but never thought of it seriously.
I became interested in pursuing transpersonal psychology, and drove out to CA on my own at 24 to pursue grad school. I went to JFK University in Orinda, and studied Arts and Consciousness, which changed my life. I worked as an Activity Director in a nursing home and wanted to do Art Therapy. I felt like I was not an artist like everyone in my program but one day I “got it”. My work was indeed my art and unlike many who had to work and then find time to create art, I had it all. WOW! I had my MA in Arts and Consciousness, loved my work, married and began to do some travelling. That is when photography began to become more prominent. I began by selling cards I had made, then enlargements and framing of my images. I was fired by a new administrator, after 10 years of working with my seniors. I was heartbroken, but from the ashes, came the idea of pursuing my photography full time. As someone said, “He did you a favor. You never would have left your residents and he pushed you off the fence.” Honeybear Prints Photography was born. And I threw that passion and creativity into shooting those moments in life that called to me from here and there and all around the world. I am looking to expand my focus by exploring collage and more mixed media ideas, focusing on the more abstract and textural imagery that I love to photograph. Stay tuned…the journey continues!
Please talk about your associations with galleries and your work to promote art in the Redwood City area.
When I pursued photography full time, Redwood City was in the early stages of redeveloping the downtown. I joined the Downtown Business Group and began pushing the idea that ART should be a part of the plans. Over many years, I have helped bring “phantom galleries” that is: putting art in empty storefronts, an art walk, and ART on the Square shows (my baby, going on 7 years, in conjunction with the popular Music on the Square summer series). Three years ago I formed a group called ARTS RWC which puts artists and local art groups/businesses at the table with representatives from City Council, Economic Development, Planning Commission, Civic Cultural Commission, Parks and Rec, Downtown Business Group and others to discuss ways to bring art and support art projects (public art, art festivals, etc.) to the downtown. We also hosted a “Candidates forum” to interview 2 candidates running for County Supervisor to find out their views on all issues ART related. I am on the Board of the Redwood City Parks and Arts Foundation, and the Peninsula Arts Council. It has been a long process, but a Public Art Policy is being finalized and attitudes are shifting. ART is being taken seriously and is part of the conversation. Redwood City has been amazingly open to someone like me coming along, listening and helping to create events as a partner and not a roadblock. I am most fortunate and appreciate what has been accomplished so far.