I have interviewed many Somerville artists  who like the late Andy Warhol find rather banal objects like soup cans, shoes,  etc… as material for their art. Katherine Vetne, a graduate of Boston  University, who I met at my usual well- appointed table at Bloc 11 in Union  Square is no exception. In the case of this young artist she has chosen the  spoon as one of the objects of her obsession. One of her exhibits at the  Somerville Open Studios this year was her pencil drawings of 30 spoons.
Vetne is  like a moth on a cheap suit when it comes to detail…she concentrates intensely  and blocks out all the noise around her. She has spent time with these utensils  and has a scholarly take on them. Now spoons to you or me might simply represent  a way to transport grub into a salivating mouth but to Vetne they represent  marriage, domesticity, family, and changing roles. Quite a mouthful—don’t you  think? Vetne, 26, said her work is germane to her own phase of life in which  women are expected to think about marriage, family, and  silverware.
Vetne also told me she also explores feminist  themes in her work. And to take it another step further she examines her own  biology. Her bowl shape constructions strongly hint at the womb.
 And of course Vetne is looking to produce  innovative work. One installation that she described to me was a pair of latex gloves  she blew up, dipping the fingers in plaster and filling the concavity with gold  leaf.
Vetne has a day job to pay the rent.  She works for a non-profit arts organization  in Boston that provides artwork to human service organizations.
She also started the Boston Critique Group in  2010. Here with other artist she shares ideas, and is involved in an ongoing  conversation about art and life. She told me: “The group plays an important role  for the artist to feel validated.”
Although Vetne cannot survive on her art  alone— she is making big strides to become an independent artist. As I always  say there are a million stories in the Paris of New England—this has been one of  them.

5 Responses to “Somerville Artist Katherine Vetne Will ‘Spoon’ Feed You Her Work”

  1. Edgar Allan Schwartz says:

    Doug. Please. Once and for all, Somerville is not “The Paris of New England.” It is the Somerville of New England. But if it was, what would that make you? Baudelaire? I laugh on your lapel.

    And the “there are a million stories” line that you have recently adopted, you would admit it’s a direct lift from “The Naked City” film and TV series wouldn’t you? Or would you? Hard to tell.

    If you don’t mind embarrassing yourself so much, that’s one thing. But please, don’t misrepresent the rest of us as being so narcissistic and banal as you can so often let yourself become.

  2. Doug Holder says:

    This is as the Utne reader opined years ago ” The Paris of New England”
    You may laugh on my lapel and then kiss my shoe..why admit it is from the Naked City? — that would seem obvious…and I have admitted it in previous columns.. sorry you feel that I misrepresent you and the collective community–I guess my “banal” column has more reach than I thought and your fragile ego needs bolstering…. And this my friend, is another missive from the Naked City…

  3. Edgar Allan Schwartz says:

    Sorry, Doug. I was unnecessarily mean and unfairly critical. Who am I to do that? It’s your column, and it’s none of my business. Please forgive me.

  4. Doug Holder says:

    All is forgiven– I have received criticism about the Paris of New England from other folks–obviously I don’t think Somerville is just like Paris–I am having fun–and pointing out that we live in a creative community that I want to celebrate–I just didn’t understand the harshness of your response– since it is a column I use “I” and I try to bring a little flavor to my articles by pointing out that I am at a cafe –be it Sherman’s or Bloc 11, etc… I am trying to create an ambiance and atmosphere– I try to create little vignettes or profiles of folks–not in great depth-but what is appropriate for a fine community newspaper like The Somerville News.

  5. Harry says:

    “was her pencil drawings of 30 spoons”

    OCD. Next!…

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