Five Alive--Shannon Rankin

Five Alive is where we ask people we admire five questions about their creative lives. Today Shannon Rankin shares a bit about her practice.

Tessellation (Cape Foulweather), 2013, map, oil, paper, 12.25 x 17.5

Tessellation (Cape Foulweather), 2013, map, oil, paper, 12.25 x 17.5

Terrain (Wicomico), 2013, map, acrylic, paper, 17 x 21.75

Terrain (Wicomico), 2013, map, acrylic, paper, 17 x 21.75

From Shannon's Artist Statement:

I create installations, collages and sculptures that use the language of maps to explore the connections among geological and biological processes, patterns in nature, geometry and anatomy.

Using a variety of distinct styles I intricately cut, score, wrinkle, layer, fold, paint and pin maps to produce revised versions that often become more like the terrains they represent.

These new geographies explore notions of place, perception and experience, suggesting the potential for a broader landscape and inviting viewers to examine their relationships with each other and the world we share.


Shannon Rankin was born in California in 1971 and currently lives and works in Rangeley, Maine. She received a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Maine College of Art in Portland, Maine (1997). Her recent solo and two person exhibitions include Crux, June Fitzpatrick Gallery, Portland, Maine (2013), Fathom, Center for Maine Contemporary Art, Rockport, Maine (2011) and Disperse/Displace, Gallery Voss, Düsseldorf, Germany (2010).

Shannon Rankin

Shannon Rankin

She was included in the book Creative Block by Danielle Krysa (aka The Jealous Curator), which just came out this spring, and she's been accepted to the CMCA Biennial 2014, where she will be creating a large site-specific installation with ocean and star maps, inspired by the maritime history of Rockport, Maine.

What is your favorite art making tool?

My X-Acto blade is my primary art making tool, but scissors are fun, too!

What music/band/artist are you listening to the most right now?

Right now, I’m revisiting The Stylistics, Hall & Oates and Radiohead.

The cedars

The cedars

The greenhouse in the snow

The greenhouse in the snow

Where do you go for peace and quiet?

I live in the country so peace and quiet are relatively easy to find here. I enjoy taking walks in the woods. There’s a cluster of cedars that I’m quite fond of. I’ll visit them and take a seat on a rock that I placed in-between them. During the warmer months I enjoy taking studio breaks in our tiny greenhouse.

Where is your next dream travel destination?

Anywhere the sun is shining! I would love to visit the Southwest again and see the Grand Canyon. I would also love to visit Glacier National Park because I want to see a glacier before they’re all gone.

Is there a color or palette that you are drawn to?

I’m drawn to vibrant hues from the ’60‘s. And I love every single shade of blue.

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