Stories Behind the Artists

Photo of Kalliopi Monoyios        Artwork by Kalliopi Monoyios

Kalliopi Monoyios
Student and Guest Curator of The Plasticene

How did you first get involved with ASLD and when?
In every city I’ve lived I’ve been involved with organizations like the ASLD. So when I moved to Denver I immediately went looking for an organization that would feed my creative soul. My grandmother was a founding member of the Wesleyan Potters, a non-profit, cooperative artists’ group that teaches ceramics, metalsmithing, basketry, weaving, and more in Connecticut. So these types of organizations have been a staple in my life since I was very young and I intend to be involved until I am very old!  

How has ASLD shaped you as an artist?
The opportunity Rachel Basye gave me last year to create The Plasticene exhibit was an absolute gift. I wrote a blog on the intersection of science and art for Scientific American for six years (called Symbiartic), so I had experience curating artists around a theme. But I had never had the opportunity to curate an in-person show and I’m grateful to Rachel for taking a risk and to Nancy Walsh on the Board for making the connection. I’ve always been interested in creating spaces for conversation – among artists, in the general public, etc. – but mostly this has happened online through my writing. To have a tangible exhibit and be privy to at least some of the conversations it started in the ASLD building was wonderfully rewarding for me as an artist and curator.

What faculty members have you taken courses with as ASLD?
Over the years, I’ve taken short courses with Martha Russo, Chris Perez, Jennifer Ghormly, and Beth Cavener which were very informative and inspiring. I’ve used tips I learned from each of these talented artists in my work and I’m grateful for their generosity of spirit. More recently: the workshop by Lim Ok-Sang was phenomenal. He is an impressive and inspiring artist that I was grateful to be exposed to through the ASLD and Sammy Seung-Min Lee. Her efforts to bring contemporary Asian artists to the heart of the US is admirable and I’m so glad the ASLD was able to take part in the cultural exchange. Also, I was thrilled to be able to invite Laurie Frick through The Plasticene exhibit to be a visiting artist through the ASLD’s Visiting Artist Workshop series. Her workshop (on using our personal data to create art with hand-dyed paper) and her artist’s talk were innovative and thoughtful. I’ve found myself returning to her themes of reclaiming our data as I move through my daily life (which, during the pandemic, is increasingly online and tracked!)

What do you like about the ASLD community?
Besides the programming and exposure to a creative community in Denver, I’d say I love the facilities – the building is incredible – it has such character and energy. Everytime I walk in I feel its steady presence and it grounds me. It’s a great place to create.

Anything else you want to share with us?
Ummmmm…. I dunno! I think ASLD is great. Easy to work with, creative and nimble, responsive and such a resource for the community. I feel lucky to have ASLD so close and hope to be involved for years to come.