Student Artist of the Month: Kadi Cier

Patterns in a full-sized outline of Cier's mosaic, which will be installed outside her art classroom

Patterns in a full-sized outline of Cier’s mosaic, which will be installed outside her art classroom
photo by Jacob Middlekauff

Kadi Cier ’15 is a visual artist who creates mosaics and paintings. She has worked as an apprentice in a quilting shop and takes art classes at PHS. She is currently working on a mosaic for the art room doorway that will take up to a year to complete. Cier, whose creations are inspired by her dreams, says that art allows her to document her past as she moves toward the future.

How would you describe the art that you create?

I guess I’m kind of all over the place—I don’t have a set style yet. One influence would be Tim Burton. I liked his art a lot; I did a lot of pen and ink. Some Van Gogh used to inspire me when I was younger.

When did you first become interested in making mosaics and painting? What drew you to this type of visual art?

Last year, [when I was a sophomore,] this girl Klair [Siciliano ’13] was making her mosaic, and I was watching and got to help her with a couple pieces, and I wanted to try [it] out. I think mosaics are really cool. [The art classes] went to Fonthill Castle [the former home of ceramist Henry Chapman] recently to see this castle that’s covered with mosaics, and that was pretty amazing.

What inspires you the most to create art? What interests you in art?

I guess my inspiration comes and goes; sometimes I’ll be really inspired and sometimes I won’t. It’s usually when I have a cool dream, and I get this really cool idea, or it sparks this line of ideas, and they just kind of keep coming. I live in a rural area, so I see a lot of animals and nature, and most of my work isn’t based around that, but sometimes [nature] triggers it.

Are there any other artists that have influenced your work? If so, who are they?

Van Gogh was one of them. Most of the art I see isn’t credited to any artists; it’s usually street art that I look at or stuff that pops up on the Internet every now and then that doesn’t have a name to it. I think that art’s probably my favorite; the most inspiring.

What projects are you currently working on?

This year I just started the mosaic for the art room doorway. That’s going to take about a [school] year, and possibly into the summer. That’s my main project. I also want to do some wheel throwing (a method of creating pottery using a spinning wheel and clay), and I’m going to start making other sculptures on the side for scholarship projects.

Do most of your projects take about a year?

No, this is the longest project I’ve ever done. Most of them are pretty short—since I have a pretty short attention span when it comes to projects, I can’t do one thing continuously. But with the mosaic there are so many different parts of it that it feels like you’re working on different things as you progress.

Do you have experience with other kinds of visual art?

I worked [at a quilting company] for about four years, [which was owned by] this one woman who started her own business. I was her apprentice and I would cut out fabrics. They were very untraditional quilts, usually depict[ing] wilderness images or animals. I got pretty advanced in [the field], so I was able to do a lot of the sewing. I never did the quilting, but [I did] the pinning and the organizing, [and I made the patterns]. And just recently she moved her studio to New York, so I don’t do that anymore.

What do you intend to do with your mosaics and other art in the future?

I haven’t really thought much about the future; I generally just give my art projects away to  people. But this one’s going to be an installation, so I guess it’ll be around to come and visit. Maybe I’ll do more installations so they stick around and mark moments in the past as I go on.

What is your favorite piece of artwork you’ve made?

I don’t know if I have a favorite. I haven’t really made complete projects before—I usually make small things that go unfinished.