Betsy Hinze believes that art should be experienced beyond something hung on a wall or displayed on a plinth. She knows there is beauty in functionality and creates objects that are designed for interaction. Describing herself as a “curator of experiences” her chosen mediums are food, fine craft, and community. She hopes to bring people together through interactive installations and performative events and offer them something more than just a beautiful object or a good meal; she leaves each person who attends with a profound and memorable experience. Betsy’s work is presented with the aim not to present a formal and detached finished artwork but rather to give the gift of an immersive experience to lucky finders and curious explorers. Her art practice is focused both on carefully-crafted objects and on sensory exploration. She begin by using her background in fine craft media (glass, ceramics, and fibre arts) to create tactile functional and sculptural objects. These objects are her starting point to create interactive expressions of a theme, often tied-together with a ceremonial structure so that the event itself tells a story (beginning, middle, and end.) She develops other elements of sensory design, creating art that is intended to be smelled, touched, and even tasted to create a personal experience. Drawing the viewer in, her work invigorates and excites their senses. By breaking the passivity of the spectator, she allows the viewer (or, in many cases, finder) to become part of the art. This allows participants to experience emotions and activities not typically “allowed” for adults; child-like wonder, ultimate safety, excited discovery. She admires the uninhibited nature of children and hope to break some of the inhibitions adults carry through her designed experiences. She considers all aspects of her experience-based work, from the setting to the mood to the participants. Her strong design aesthetic encourages a tactile exploration of the functionality of her work. Inspired by the natural wonders of the Pacific Northwest, Betsy encourages conversations about terroir and connection to land and sea-scape through natural forms and foraged ingredients.
- Donna Heinley