Tell Me Something: Amy Hannum on art and her ideal last supper

Artist Amy Hannum lives and works in New London.
Artist Amy Hannum lives and works in New London.

New London’s Amy Hannum is a multi-disciplinary artist and designer best known for abstract imagery and use of vivid hues. Hannum studied at Lyme Academy College of Fine Arts and the Rhode Island School of Design, received an Associate in Business with Studies in Interior Design from Delta College and a Bachelor of Arts from Connecticut College in both architectural studies and sculptural art. She has more than 20 years of design experience and is the owner of PaintDragon Design, a visual design service in New London.

Hannum’s work is on display at University Gallery in Cambridge, Mass. until Jan. 24. She is also organizing the Ice Carnival, a free winter event in downtown New London as part of the annual Hygienic Art Show on Jan. 25.

Say you have a modern-day high school locker. Whose picture would be hanging in it?

My husband’s; he is the best partner anyone could have and he’s really cute.

What's your favorite sandwich?

Tuna melt, hands down!

You're locked in a museum for a night, which one would it be?

The Guggenheim with my roller blades. Wheeeeeee!

Sorry to have to tell you this, but an asteroid is going to wipe all humanity next week. So, what’s your last meal and who is coming to dinner?

Aperitivo: Bacon-wrapped dates filled with gorgonzola and served with prosecco

Antipasto: Shrimp cocktail and raw oysters with more prosecco

Primo: Chestnut pasta with olive oil and pecorino romano

Secondo: Standing lamb rib roast, marinated in olives and rosemary

Contorno: Mixed spring salad with dried fruit

Dolce: Amy’s Cannoli, a pizzelle shell stuffed with chocolate and orange rind ricotta

Digestivo: Benedictine on the rocks

Café: Sexpresso from Baby’s Coffee

Guests: The more the merrier

What is your favorite building?

As an architectural disciple it’s difficult to say because there are so many amazing buildings. When I lived in France the Strasburg Cathedral took my breath away every time I went into town. It sort of erupts from the square and is hidden by the shops so when you finally see it, the result is dramatic. The Alhambra in Grenada, Spain is on my list to see and I’m thinking it may have similar impact. Just looking at photos of those muqarnas details in the Seven Levels of Heaven ceiling brought tears to my eyes.

What work of art do you like, but can’t convince others to like?

I like conceptual and abstract art but don’t blame others for not getting it.

Name an item you can’t live without:

My heart.

Item you should live without and keep meaning to get rid of:


You’re going on a road trip. Name the destination and the car you use to get there.

Brazil, to the Pantanal when it floods, or Recifé, in my 1964 Citroën Deux Chevaux, or a Lamborghini if someone has one I can borrow.

Last book you couldn’t put down:

"A Stirring of the Heart," a little memoir my dear Aunt Betty wrote about growing up on the farm in Britt, Iowa. It was a quick read.

What was the first piece of art you ever sold?

The first gallery piece I remember selling was at the Golden Street Gallery and it was one of my spider web pieces. That series, which incorporates real spider webs, has almost completely sold out.

You’re a DJ at a club. What’s the night’s last song?

At Club Medusa in Chicago they played "Always Look on the Bright Side of Life" with the accompanying film clip from "Monty Python and the Holy Grail" - a good way to end the night.

What language do you wish you could instantly speak?

French, and Brazilian Portuguese.

What scene from a favorite book would you like to reinterpret as a work of art?

“The Great and Secret Show” by Clive Barker has many twisted and crazy scenes I’d love to bring into three dimensions.

What movie have you seen more than any other?

It must be a tie between “Star Wars” and the “Lord of the Rings”.

What’s a word you can never spell correctly on the first try:

Any word that ends in -ant, -ent or -ance and -ence. I get those confused all the time.

You have a time machine and tickets to an opening night at an exhibition. What are you going to see?

The 1893 World’s Fair.

Which book, television show, movie, or theatrical production most accurately depicts life as an artist?

“Beautiful Losers” is a great documentary that talks about a few artists’ lives. Each artist and their story are unique, so I prefer documentaries to fiction.

Which is better: New York or Los Angeles?

Is there even a contest? N.Y.C.!

Pastels or oils?


Manet or Monet?

Manet for portraits, Monet for landscapes.

Pick a number between 2 and 39 ? Why that number?

23. It’s the day of my birthdate, a prime number comprised of two other prime numbers, which are other favorite numbers. 2 and 3 add up to 5, another favorite prime number. I have a thing for odd and prime numbers, which you can see reflected in my art and design work.

What historical event would you like to have been witness to?

The days of bootleg gin and speakeasies.

What is your favorite place in Connecticut to recharge and/or find serenity?

It depends on my mood. Possibly the Book Barn, one of the state forests, sea kayaking along the coast or dinner with friends. Meditation and a good workout are also serenity inducing.

Whom alive today do you most admire?

Anyone who truly lives their beliefs every day.


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