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Cabarrus Magazine

ClearWater Artist Studios Presents the World Premiere of "Lights, Camera ... Paper"

May 10, 2017 08:26PM ● By Melanie Heisinger
ClearWater Artist Studios will soon be hosting talented artist and storyteller, Nelli Levental in their latest exhibition. 

Levental is an artist that tells stories through card stock cutouts. According to ClearWater Studios, "Levental builds miniature, three-dimensional stage sets out of paper card stock – her default set measures 16 X 20 X 20 inches— and creates paper ‘characters’ which are placed and lit, within the set and then photographed. Stories are set and shot in sequences, or individual scenes (depending on the story); then, sequences are sewn into narratives using video."

We were so curious about Levental's, so we reached out to her to learn a little bit more. Read on to hear her story and her unique and conceptual art. 

Tell us a little bit about yourself. Have you always been interested in art? 

I have been interested in art pretty much my whole life, from the days when I was a small child and spent a long time left alone at home.

The art was an escape into another world and reading the books that we had plenty, helped to define my special interest – stories. I created stories in my head, they involved many characters and those characters had to be very small (in size) to fit in my little world.

Do you have a preferred medium? 

I drew and cut out tiny people. These tiny cutouts were always my circle of loyal friends because they were always there for me. I used paper, it was available and easy to manage, and it looked good in both 2D and 3D. So, I drew and paint and cut it with scissors and built paper scenes.

Later, thanks to my parents, I went to the art school – Art College – art academy and became a professional Graphic Designer/Book Illustrator and chose the story telling as my profession.

Where do you find your inspiration? 

The inspiration for the stories comes from books and from life; sometimes they merge and evolve, but there is always a connection to my own story.

There are many ways that story can be told, or performed, I find the latter is exciting and magical. The theater is the place where the magic is born and lives, and what can be better than having my own stage and actors to play out the stories. That is what I've been doing for about a year and that is by far the most exciting and rewarding creative process, and it’s only getting more exciting with each new story.


What are your goals? Where do you see the future taking you?

I hope to be able to create longer and more developed plays with my paper actors and paper stage using the lights and camera to enhance and record the performances. My dream is to meet other creative story enthusiasts and work as a team.


Anything else we should know about you?

I also work with an Art Dolls artist – Anna Dlougolenskaia on the series of stories based on our experiences in Italy and it’s coming along well. We use the same approach just a different medium.

The art for me is continued experimentation, and that is my story.


Catch Nelli Levental's exhibit at ClearWater Artist Studios! 

Lights Camera Paper Nelli Levental Opening - start May 13 2017 0200PM

Lights, Camera Paper! Nelli Levental Opening: May 13, 2017 2:00PM

Opening Reception/ Presentation by solo artist, Nelli Levental, for her One Woman Show, “Lights, Camera… Paper: Stories Created from the Paper, Light and Love for Theater.” Come view M... Read More » 

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