Lydia McCain Artist Fellow Spotlight: Britty Lea

Friday Jan 6th, 2023

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You, the Viewer

Every once in a while, you come across someone with an unmatched level of drive and dedication to their craft. Britty Lea, Erie Arts & Culture’s 2022 Lydia McCain Emerging Artist Fellow*, is one of Erie’s shining examples of passionate creative talent.  

Britty Lea is a storyteller working at the intersection of theatre and film. Britty comes from a filmmaking background but primarily creates vivid theatrical video art pieces through either video installations, site-specific projections, or digitally enhanced theater. Britty’s work seeks to subvert expectations of what art should look like, how art should be presented, who should be the subjects of art, and who art is for. 

Central to Britty’s creative process is the idea that the viewer assigns meaning to art, so they never have concrete meaning. Instead, Britty takes risks by creating work that is open to interpretation. In Britty’s words, inviting the audience to be a part of the creative experience allows her art to become something greater than the sum of its parts.

Britty used unrestricted funding from the Lydia McCain Artist Fellowship to create her first solo video art installation gallery, You, the Viewer. Britty also used the funds to upgrade her equipment and technology. A vast majority of the projects she created in 2022 were conceived, planned, and edited on the computer system purchased through the Fellowship. 

As she looks ahead to 2023, Britty knows there is so much more to discover creatively and is ready to jump into the unknown. Britty plans to expand her comedic skillset and continue working on ongoing projects (Health, Hits, Experience, a weekly Dungeons & Dragons TTRPG show; Colt Classics, a comedy podcast; and publish 9 original videos on her youtube channel, Britty Lea Film).

For artists and creatives who are interested in following in Britty’s footsteps, she offered some words of wisdom: I believe that everyone has the capability of creation within themselves. For anyone looking to grow in their creative practices: Just do it. Don’t worry if it’s good, popular, or perfect. Sometimes the journey of creation is the art itself.

During 2022, Britty created the following pieces of media, which amount to: 

  • 40 videos viewable on Youtube totalling 48 hours, 19 minutes, and 50 seconds
  • 2 major collaborative projects 
  • 4 new video art pieces 
Britty Lea Film - Youtube Channel
  • We identified TWENTY types of PASTA?! 
  • Making PAINTINGS with PASTA?! Professional artist vs Filmmaker 
  • Al Dente: Origins | Trailer 
  • EVERY PASTA VIDEO - Behind the Scenes 
  • The Outer Zone | presented by Britty Lea Film 
  • Without/Within - a narrative story and photo shoot 
  • The Little Quest - a stop motion short film 
Health Hits Experience  - 18 episodes

Launched July 11th, 2022, Health Hits Experience is a live streamed homebrew dungeons and dragons actual play. Audiences can watch the show live on Twitch Monday nights at 5pm EST or watch the video on demand on Youtube afterwards. The show is also available as an audio only experience on any podcasting platform. 

Colt Classics - 9 episodes

A podcast featuring Britty (filmmaker) and Jessica (equestrian) as they attempt to create a new good bad horse movie every episode. Audiences can enjoy the show on any podcasting platform or watch the video version on Youtube. 

You, the Viewer 

A four-piece solo video art installation featuring commentary on the relationships between creator and viewer. 

  • a f f i r m 
    • Multi channel, looped video displayed on cathode-ray tube televisions. 
  • (un)observed 
    • A multi channel real-time video on a liquid-crystal display television alongside a still image on a liquid-crystal display television. 
  • Have Your Transaction Ready 
    • A single channel projection triggered by the viewer in an interactive experience. 
  • You, the Viewer 
    • A single channel real-time video displayed on a cathode-ray tube television.
Ember + Forge Group Show
  • Cause and Effect 
    • A framed single channel looped video

*Erie Arts & Culture recognizes individual artistic achievement and potential through its annual Lydia McCain Artist Fellowship program, which is awarded to three artists from Erie County. The Fellowship, which includes cash awards ranging between $2,000-$5,500, helps individual artists sustain or enhance their creative process and advance their career in the arts.  The fellowship program includes three artist categories: Emerging, Mid-Career, and Established.

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You, the Viewer
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Health Hits Experience
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Colt Classics

Erie Arts & Culture

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