Cortney Connolly

Class of 2023

Cortney Connolly

What is LUMKA? How did it come about?

LUmkA began as an ongoing joke in college. I started the brand during COVID lockdown as a platform to support my own artistic journey in rediscovering my sense of self. LUmkA embodies what it means to be growing up in the age of the internet, where all information is accessible at any time, any hour, yet moves quickly and changes as the real world progresses. It is the hours of looking at the early years of Youtube while sporting the bright colors of childhood nostalgia while growing into one’s own edge and authenticity. I think growing LUmkA is really just about having fun and staying in touch with my artistic compass while also making work that emulates and questions the issues within our society. 

You have been working on a Collaborative Arts Journal called “Free Swim”. Can you tell us about the development process and how it's coming along?

I was approached by Collaborative Arts Professor Steven Drukman in September to be the Founding Editor-in-Chief of "Free Swim." Since then, I have been working on the first edition, The PostModern Grotesque. This online journal will feature 13-15 multimedia pieces exploring the theme. We are nearly finished, I am working diligently on editing and preparing for publication. I expect it to be released at the end of March or Beginning of April 2022. It has been a fantastic and enriching experience, working with my peers on cultivating an opinion has been deeply inspiring. I have had the honor of working with and interviewing legendary artists such as Karen Finley and Anna Fox. I greatly look forward to sharing the journal with the world very soon!

 Cortney Connolly LUMKA

Cortney Connolly LUMKA

You have an interest in curating? Where do you typically start?

My interest in curating centers around tying the past and present to make new connections. In every aspect of life, I believe it is important to understand the external world from a step back. I consider curation both an everyday practice and a complete thought, which can be applied to any space or medium. Research, being the most important part of this process, ignites inspiration. I typically start wherever I find interest, sometimes finding inspiration is in the most mundane activities. Self awareness, listening, and attention to the external world requires patience; however, I always find it to be a great jumping off point. I work off the questions: How am I feeling? Who can I relate to? What can I add? 

What are you working on now?

I am currently working adamantly on Free Swim. Next, I will be launching my publishing company C to the Three through the release of my first art book Stay Hot But Stay Cool (coming this summer). I also plan to finally release LUmkA Couture Wear’s  first collection LUmkA Play: 01, which I have been working on collaboratively with Charlie Cleworth since 2020. The collection is a mediation on the ideals of LUmkA, childhood, and sustainability. I also am beginning to outline my upcoming senior thesis that will occur at the end of 2022.  As a multidisciplinary artist, I am always dabbling and playing with mediums, right now I find myself drawn to the camera, painting, writing, and design. 

You recently were offered a spot in NYU Berlin’s Summer Program. What drew you to this opportunity, and what do you hope to get out of it?

I always desire to push myself out of my comfort zone. Three factors propelled this decision; I have never been to Berlin, I don’t speak German, and upon entering, will be a complete stranger to my surroundings. I find these factors intoxicating. I am eager to see the inner workings of the Berlin art scene and see how it will sculpt and inspire my artistic mind.