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An Interview With IVEY Arts

Artwork by self taught artist Ivana Lamptey, and how she established her company, IVEY Arts and her personal artistic style.

Written by
Alyssa Mattei

Ivana Lamptey is going into her senior year at Connecticut College this fall, but between her neuroscience major, double minor (linguistics and Africana studies), tutoring, mentoring, honor societies, and running track (division three student athlete) she still manages to find time to paint.

She only just started painting a few years ago, but she started taking it more seriously after establishing her company, IVEY Arts, in 2017. Now, she is opening her first art exhibit at a local cafe in Worcester, MA which will be her first time displaying a collection of her works.

Lamptey’s art style is unified by a bold sense of space created by dense strokes and blocks of color. This style references back to the intricate designs of Ghanaian fabric weaving, which she credits as inspiration for many of her pieces. Sourcing inspiration from and connecting to her culture through her painting began as and continues to be a pushing factor towards Lamptey’s pursuit of art. Additionally, she credits a journey of self-discovery as her biggest current inspiration. Art has provided Lamptey an opportunity to explore her own being, through creative analysis of her physical, emotional, and spiritual identity. And this learning pushes her to express herself in new and different directions.

In this way, her creative process often begins with a particular emotion, which she cites as being the “foundation to every sketch.” Before she takes brush to canvas she plans and decides on a “theme, a color scheme, and a message I want to convey.” Once she has the blueprint laid out, the pre-planning allows her to be more experimental with the techniques she uses to achieve her vision. Nonetheless, changing up her approach is important to keep things from getting too repetitive. Lamptey enjoys the variability that comes with each new piece she creates.

Philia. 30x40”, Acrylic & fabric flowers on canvas with a gloss finish.

“Where words fail, colors and strokes convey.”

Despite her connecting themes of culture and discovery, she has already begun noticing her style change, even over the short period of time she has been painting. She credits this not just to a change in her art, but a change in her own perception, quoting a need to portray different perspectives to each story as one of the reasons many of her pieces show different styles. The stories she narrates with her paintings are those of expression; illustrating the emotions she is unable to express through any other medium. The paintbrush provides a bridge connecting mind to her inner self, so “where words fail, colors and strokes convey.”

It might seem like Lamptey’s interests branch out all over the place, but she finds a way to keep them all within a spectrum of knowledge. Not only is painting a way to escape some of the stress of her (very) full academic plate, but her art has in fact been encouraged by her “intellectual curiosity” and achievements in academia. Keeping everything interwoven is one of her goals as an artists, stating, “My dream as an artist is to continue to explore the unifying theme of interconnectedness between double consciousness, culture, and the environment.”

With all she has to manage it comes as no surprise that she needs to keep organized as well as stick to a strict schedule in order to get everything done. But even through it all she will never back down from any opportunity that provides the possibility to learn something new. Lamptey confesses that she “does not like to limit herself” which seems to show obviously through all her accomplishments so far.

Cosmic Fro. 8x10”, Acrylic on canvas

Florence. 8x10”, Crochet flowers/Crochet thread & Acrylic on canvas

Pragma. 30x40”, Seed beads & Acrylic on canvas

Elizabeth. 16x20”, Acrylic on canvas.

Ivana Lamptey’s paintings were displayed at the Nu Resturaunt in Worcester, MA in July of 2018. She sells her work, and produces commissions through her website, IVEY Arts can be followed on Facebook and on Instagram @art.ivey.