With names like Nikki and Marcy Starz, it may seem like these two local artists were destined for greatness. And even though their stars were already rising within the Atlanta art scene, the animalistic drawings and paintings of Marcy and larger scultural pieces of Nikki definitely shined a little brighter when these sisters were selected to be part of The Creatives Project's artist-in-residency program almost two years ago. After their 2011 TCP debut in the Goat Farm's smaller gallery, this year the Starz will be featured artists at TCP's Annual Exhibition and Fundraiser; Momentum: Exit to the Future as their residencies come to a close on Friday Oct. 18. But before then, Nikki and Marcy are busy with various other projects of their own. As they prepare to carry their TCP Momentum, they tell The Creative Process how being involved with TCP has benefitted them.

You're coming to the end of your TCP residency. How has this program benefitted you over the past two years?

Nikki: It has been a great opportunity. I think it was different for everybody. The good thing about the program is there's not any requirement for how much work you need to produce or what exactly you need to do in your studio. This gave me a chance to really experiment with the work I was doing and kind of just be all over the place without being restricted by a panel of reviewers or anything like that, which is really nice. It gave me a chance to prepare myself for the work that I want to submit to grad schools. 

Marcy: I feel the same way Nikki does about not having strict requirements. I was able to get a better feel for the art community as a whole because I was introduced to different aspect of community involvement. It's good to know there are people out here trying to keep arts education alive. During an economic recession, those are the first programs that get cut.

Nikki: Yeah, we wouldn't have been aware of those programs otherwise. I wouldn't have known about One Love Generation, and I probably would never have had a studio at the Goat Farm. Having a studio is one thing that saved me. I had a sculpture studio in my bedroom of the apartment that my sister and I shared, so I had a tarp I would keep over my bed if I was using a grinder or sander and creating dust. I couldn't make anything that was large in scale. Having a space and sharing it with another sculptor (Justin Rabideau) allows me to network with all these different artists I wouldn't have networked with. It has changed my work and allowed me to create work that's huge and that I wouldn't have been able to produce otherwise.

Some of the other resident artists I've interviewed had never met before and ended up collaborating on various projects. Were there particular artists you met during your residency that you might continue working with in any capacity?

Marcy: I got along really well with Brandon Sadler, but collaboration never came up in conversation. I admire his work. Right now I'm sharing the space with a photographer, Charlie Watts, who's usually shoots on location, which is kind of nice.

Nikki: Having Justin Rabideau as a studiomate has changed my work. Just being at the Goat Farm has changed my work, aesthetically. The colors of this place and all the textures have really influenced my work in ways I wouldn't have expected.

You're both involved with Trajectory, an alumni show at Kennesaw State University through Oct.

12th. What did you contribute to that show?

Marcy: I just finished a piece that is comprised of eight diamond-shaped panels covered in fabric. Basically, I took the shape from a traditional quilting pattern called the lonestar. So they all fit together at their acute angles. 

Nikki: The funny thing about that show in relation to the whole networking and community aspect of TCP is that Justin is now the museum coordinator at Kennesaw. He also teaches at the university, which is really funny. He had a contract job at a shop before, like Marcy and I have now. Then he got this museum position and has been able to help us out by curating this alumni show, which I'm pretty sure was solely his idea. The whole premise of the show is to track where the undergraduate artists from Kennesaw end u. five years out? It shows what we've actually been able to do with our degrees. All of us are successful in different ways and we've still been able to do something with the degrees we received.

Marcy, you're involved in various other art shows and projects. Tell me about what else you're working on.

Marcy: I participated in Living Walls again this year. I did a mural in Summerhill on Georgia Ave. Last year I painted a big mural of a fox in Castleberry Hill, across the street from No Mas Cantina. Then I've got another group show at Mint Gallery called Atlantaland opening Sept. 14. All the work is on 8-inch square pieces. That's going to be an interesting show because it will all be the same size work. 

Come wish Marcy, Nikki and the other 2011-13 TCP residents a farewell as they

"Exit to the Future with great MOMENTUM"...

Friday, October, 18th
8pm to 11pm
The Goat Farm Arts Center: 1200 Foster St ATL 30318


interview by Jonathan Williams / WrestlingWithPopCulture
photography by: Neda Abghari