Sunday, November 12, 2017

Lindsy Halleckson, Artist

Hello everyone! This is Jackson and welcome to the 11th interview for my blog, 3 Art Questions With Jackson. This time I interviewed the excellent painter Lindsy Halleckson. My Dad and I really love her paintings and we have featured them many times on our @artworldexploration Instagram. Thank you for reading! Let me know what you think!

Jackson: My Dad and I really like your paintings. How do you get the canvases to look like they are glowing?

Lindsy: Good question, and thank you, Jackson! I paint using brushes on canvas (and sometimes linen) with dozens of thin layers of thinned out acrylic paint. Each layer builds up more color, while still showing the colors underneath. For me, the process is meditative and physical. It feels very natural- almost like breathing. Even though the process isn't terribly difficult, it takes a lot of time and patience. 

Jackson: How did you know that you wanted to be an artist? 

Lindsy: From the time I was really young, I always needed to be making things. I loved drawing, painting, writing and illustrating stories. There was always a lot of music in my house growing up, and I played a couple of different kinds of musical instruments. Figure skating was a significant part of my teen years, so that was a major creative outlet for me as well. In junior high and high school I took a lot of art and music classes, which I loved. I was pretty good at drawing and loved color theory. But, I also loved science and math. When I went to college, I thought I wanted to study music composition and eventually write scores for movies. I didn't actually consider visual art seriously until I went on a trip to New York for a couple of weeks during my senior year in college. Spending time in that city made me realize that making a life as an artist is possible. 

Somewhere along the line, I realized that art, math, and science are all ways that we learn about and connect with the world around us. Being an artist didn't mean that I needed to abandon my interest in science but could be a way for me to explore ideas and concepts - learning through making, like a scientist learns from experiments. That realization seemed to be what most excited me about being an artist.

Jackson: If you could meet any artist, who would it be and why?

Lindsy: This is such a good question! There are so many artists I'd really like to meet. If I could meet ANY artist, I would definitely want to meet Agnes Martin. Lately, I've been interested in the work of Zaria Forman. I love how her work overlaps visual art and environmental activism. Her mastery of drawing is inspiring to me, and the way that she raises awareness about issues affecting our climate is especially important right now. 

Friday, September 29, 2017

Christina Alderman, Assistant Director, Family and Teen Programs at the Rhode Island School of Design

Hello everyone! This is Jackson and welcome to the tenth interview for my blog, 3 Art Questions With Jackson. This time I interviewed Christina Alderman. I met her when I was little and she worked at the Walker Art Center. She was probably my first art friend and I miss her. That is me at the bottom right of the Walker poster above. Christina organized the group and it was fun. We had pizza. Thank you for reading! Let me know what you think!

Jackson: Do you miss the Walker Art Center? I miss seeing you there.

Christina: I miss the Walker very much because I met so many amazing people like you! It’s a part of my life that I will treasure and never forget. I continue to watch the Walker from afar, so I continue to see the many amazing thing it does.

Jackson: What kind of art is your favorite and why? 

ChristinaIt’s hard to have a favorite because my job always keeps me learning about so many new kinds. This summer I have been spending a lot of time learning about ancient polychrome. Many of the ancient marble sculpture and statues we see in museums were painted all sorts of colors. They had golds, bright reds, blues and more. It was amazing. It’s been fun to wander galleries and imagine what these statues might have been like.

Jackson: If you could meet any artist who would it be and why?

ChristinaSo many artists, but I am going to have to go with Mark Rothko. I am not sure I would have my job or even care about art if wasn't for Rothko. When I started college, I was convinced to take an art class. We went on a field trip to the Albright Knox museum in Buffalo, NY, and I saw Rothko. I stared and stared, and then I cried. I had no idea why, or no idea what it meant, and I was crying. It changed my life. That was the moment I wanted to spend my life around art and began my quest to figure out how to work at an art museum. So, if it wasn’t for Rothko I might not have even met you and so many other things in my life would have never happened.  I would like the chance to say thanks.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

J. Wren Supak, Artist

Hello everyone! This is Jackson and welcome to the ninth interview for my blog, 3 Art Questions With Jackson. This time I interviewed J. Wren Supak. She is a very talented artist. I have met her and she is really nice. Thank you for reading! Let me know what you think!

Jackson: How old were you when you first became really interested in art?

Wren: I cannot remember not being interested in making art. I thought I was a Master Abstractor as a toddler. I thought I could play the violin, dance and play piano like a virtuoso, and I wasn’t embarrassed or anything, I felt proud and confident.… Now I feel like a kid with only so much to learn. Funny, hm? 

Jackson: How do you get the ideas for your paintings? Mine just seem to pop out of my brain.

Wren: I read and research history, stories, feelings and memory, and try to imagine what those things would look like if I could not use words or anything, but I could only SHOW the concept. I ask myself what does so and so look like? And then I try to create that picture— I try to show not tell an idea.

JacksonIf you could meet any artist, who would it be and why?

Wren: I am an avid art historian as well as artist and I commune with my favorite artists by studying their paintings, process, biographies, and of course doing studies of their work. I feel that they are my friends and that I am their friends. They’re my heroes. I would like to hang out with so many artists, including; Hilma af Klint about why she kept her abstract paintings and why she kept her abstractions a secret, Georgia O’Keeffe and look at her earliest experiments with ink abstractions, Helen Frankenthaler, Mark Rothko, JMW Turner, James Whistler to look at Nocturne in Gold together, my Australian grandfather who played a dozen instruments, who died before I met him, Alfred Stieglitz to talk about Equivalents, some writers I admire, musicians, designers, etc., etc., etc., I could literally just go on and on. But I narrowed it down to someone I might actually meet in person someday. I choose Megan Walch. I have studied her work, her style and her process on-line, but I would like to see it in person, truly I would like to study with her for a chunk of time. She works in Tasmania, we have corresponded several times, from way over there, through digital communication, she helped me through a creative block on a painting or two. I think I could learn a lot from working with her. 

Saturday, June 10, 2017

Liza Sylvestre, Artist

Hello everyone! This is Jackson and welcome to the eighth interview for my blog, 3 Art Questions With Jackson. This time I interviewed Liza Sylvestre. She is a talented artist. She is also nice and we have some of her art hanging on our walls. Thank you for reading!

Jackson: You make many different kinds of art. What kind do you enjoy making the most? I really liked your Soap Factory show.

Liza: This has been a tough thing to work through. My background is in painting, and it's this commercial gallery work that many people know me for. But for the past two years I've been creating multimedia conceptual artwork, like the work for my Art(ists) on the Verge show at The Soap Factory. It has definitely felt like I am juggling two separate studio practices, and I've struggled to justify them. Now that I'm finally at a place where I don't have any more painting shows I'm committed to, a breakthrough has occurred, and I'm so grateful for it. I can finally let go of some things, and with some past ways of working in my studio, and move forward with with new work. It's really easy to fall into a rut once you've had some measured success. People will purchase something and it's easy to feel like you should make 100 more of that something so that you can pay your bills! But the truth is that I was feeling stagnant in my studio until this new multimedia work came along. And now I see ways in which I can utilize my drawing and painting skills with the same sensibility that my new media work requires.

Jackson: How did you become an artist? Did you see a specific artwork? I guess that is two questions.

Liza: I think becoming an artist was just a natural inclination. It's a way of life for me, and for my family (my partner is also an artist and we have a young one and a half year old son together). I studied art in undergrad but "being an artist" felt so large and impossible and out of reach at the time of my graduation. I moved to Miami, I worked as a fashion designer there and in London, and I took my time coming back to art. There was a moment, while I was still living in Miami, when I made a really conscious decision to dedicate more of my time to my artwork, to make it a serious focal point of my life. I signed a lease on a an art studio and showed up every day, no matter what. That was a really pivotal decision, and one that all of the art-steps I've taken have followed. It takes so much work just to learn how to work, and it's so important to figure it out. It's all still a process, I'm still becoming an artist, or evolving as an artist.

Jackson: If you could meet any artist, who would it be and why?

Liza: Oooh, tough one. In my experience, often times meeting an artist is really not the same thing as enjoying their work. But, in an ideal world, Ann Hamilton and I would sit down, and she would share all of her art making secrets with me, and we would become the best of friends

Thursday, May 4, 2017

Alison Hiltner, Artist and Associate Director at SooVAC

Hello everyone! This is Jackson and welcome to the seventh interview on my art blog, 3 Art Questions With Jackson. This time I interviewed Alison Hiltner. She is an amazing artist and is also Associate Director at Soo Visual Arts Center. She is really smart and I have known her since I was little. 

Jackson: How did you create all the green stuff for your exhibition at Mia? It was amazing.

AlisonGreat question Jackson and thank you! I have been cultivating cyanobacteria, a primitive form of algae going on two years now. The cyanobacteria that is in the show is not from the original cultures however, that has been growing for about 6 months. The lab in the back of the gallery is a tiny snippet of the process. Aquariums, lots of filtered water, cultures, pumps, bubblers and time is really all it takes:)

I was interested with working with cyanobacteria for a number of reasons; it’s prominence in scientific investigations, the role it played in creating the atmosphere we breathe  and for aesthetic considerations, the green is so vibrant it seems to be the definition of plant-life, the color a child would select from a box of crayons to color in leaves. I was drawn to algae for a variety of different reasons, and to quickly clarify, it is actually cyanobacteria a primitive form of algae. Cyanobacteria was instrumental in forging the earth’s atmosphere from the very beginning of the evolution of life. It also holds a very complex place in our rapidly altering climate, both as a resource to course-correct as well as a force for ecological destruction. I see this as a concise connection to how humans interact within our environment. On a more basic level, it appealed to me as something that registered as an organic life form, it’s intense shade of green feels like the defining color of a plant, but on an intensely primitive level. It forges a difficult, but meaningful, connection between the viewer and the cyanobacteria to push viewers to connect with a life-form that seems void of life, yet critically essential to our ecosystem.

JacksonWhat kind of art do you most like to look at?

AlisonAll kinds! Along with being a practicing artists I have the pleasure of working at Soo Visual Arts Center as the Associate Director, and that enables me to experience a wide variety of work. We have a lot of amazing artists in the Twin Cities and I have had the gift of working with a lot of them. 

Though I especially enjoy art that challenges expectations, something that demands me to even if momentarily look at the world differently.  

JacksonIf you could meet and speak to any artist, who would it be? I was excited to meet Sharon Louden.

AlisonLouise Bourgeois. Though I’m not sure if I would have the ability to speak if I was standing in front of her. 

Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Alanah Luger-Guillaume, Artist and member of The White Page collective

Hello everyone! This is Jackson and welcome to the sixth interview on my art blog, 3 Art Questions With Jackson. This time I interviewed Alanah Luger-Guillaume. She is a super good artist and a member of The White Page collective in Minneapolis. You should go see her there.

JacksonHow old were you when you first became interested in art?

Alanah: I don't remember when I started loving art. My mother says when I was really little I scribbled with crayons for the entirety of a very long drive, and she knew then that I had already found something I loved. I have been drawing my whole life basically. It's just always been a part of who I am- fidgety with my hands and extremely visual.

Jackson: Did school teach you about art or did you learn on your own?

AlanahBoth! My high school art teacher was a special part of my learning. He encouraged me so much and knew art was my first priority. College was important for me because my teachers had so much knowledge to share about being an artist and about contemporary art. Art school can really help weed out a lot of cliche ideas because you are surrounded by people making things, and it can be easy to start noticing trends and overused themes or imagery. Of course, so much is learned by practicing and investigating outside of academia. I'm still learning all the time.

Jackson: Do you draw well and do you think it's important? I don't draw well yet.

AlanahI do draw pretty well. I'm really not sure how important that is. It just depends on how you work and what you want to make. Drawing is how I discovered I loved art. However, when I got to college I realized that thinking less literally came as a challenge for me. I had always drawn from life without any abstraction. Art school helped break that down a bit. Now I paint completely abstractly. Just writing this is making me want to sit down in front of a mirror and do a self portrait!

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Ute Bertog, Artist

Hello everyone! This is Jackson and welcome to the fifth interview on my art blog, 3 Art Questions With Jackson. This time I interviewed Ute Bertog. She is a really great artist. I really like her art and I enjoy talking to her.

Jackson: Why do you think you became an artist?

Ute: Hmmm, there are so many influences I can think of that made me pursue art. First of all I had an aunt – and my favorite aunt at that - who was an art teacher and I spent many afternoons just making things with her. She was very creative in the arts and all sorts of crafts. She instilled this possibility in me to pursue this life as a career. Also going to art museums as a teenager was a magical experience, simply because it was so different than the surroundings I grew up in. Not that there was anything wrong with where I grew up. On the contrary, I had a very happy childhood. I am from a small town, which gave us children a lot of freedom to just roam in the surrounding fields and woods. Still museums gave me the whiff of the wider world and as a child there was nothing more exciting than to imagine living in a different environment just because of the potential for adventure. Museums were a promise for that potential to explore and stretch beyond the known.

Jackson: What is your favorite artwork and why?

Ute: That is a really difficult question since I don’t have one particular piece of artwork that I’d call my favorite. There are just so many. I do have several artists that I’m returning back to on a regular basis though and that I am always happy about seeing in a museum. Amy Sillman comes to mind and Philip Guston.

Jackson: In what ways is art different in Germany than it is in the United States? 

Ute: That is an even more difficult question since when I left Germany I hadn’t pursued art as much yet. Back then it was more of a private endeavor and I hadn’t explored much of the wider art scene. Plus, in my hometown there just wasn’t an art scene, just the museums that were in the bigger cities. Now I would love to show there again and maybe even spend more time there to work just to see how I’d experience the difference if there even is one. One time I was listening to a radio show about a theater production directed by a British guy. He was asked how the production in America was different from the one in the UK and he said that here the audience was very inquisitive, wanting to know and understand every little detail, whereas in the UK they were much more at ease about taking in the whole thing and being okay with the uncertainty of not-knowing.

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Elaine Rutherford, Artist and Fine Arts Professor

Hello! This is Jackson and welcome to the fourth interview on my art blog, 3 Art Questions With Jackson. This time I interviewed Elaine Rutherford. She is an excellent artist and also a fine arts professor. I recently met her and she is a nice person.

Jackson: How old were you when you first realized you wanted to be an artist?

Elaine: I don’t remember a time when I didn't want to be an artist Jackson. I was always drawing as a kid, back then it was horses and fashion designs, and then when I was about 7 I had a longish stint in the hospital and so spent a lot of time drawing. So I don’t think I ever really seriously considered doing anything else.

Jackson: How is art in Scotland different from art in the United States?

Elaine: Hmm, that’s a tough one. I’m not sure if it is. I mean I think that artists everywhere are processing and reflecting the world that they live in and their environment so some things are more universal, like questions of the human condition. Others might be more location specific and I do think that the climate and the culture have an effect on the art made so maybe that is how we might see differences? I’m not sure.

Jackson: Where do you get the ideas for your cool art?

Elaine: Well first of all, thank you for thinking that it is cool, I am flattered! My ideas come from thinking about the place that I came from, my homeland of Scotland. I think about the light and the landscape there, I think about how wherever you are you are always close to the sea. I love the sea because it makes me feel small and insignificant. I love landscapes that are bleak but beautiful, that are rugged and not easy to live in. I like to feel the elements. In my work I am always thinking about these things and then also about being lost, not in a sad or negative way but how we discover things when we take the wrong road or veer off of the map that we would never otherwise know. I love being lost when I am in a beautiful landscape. Being lost while driving is just a pain. 

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Carolyn Payne, Executive Director and Chief Instigator at SooVAC

Hello! This is Jackson and welcome to the third interview and first interview of 2017 on my art blog, 3 Art Questions With Jackson. This time I interviewed Carolyn Payne. She is Executive Director and Chief Instigator at SooVAC and a nice person. I have known her for a long time.

Jackson: How old were you when you first realized that art was important to you?

CarolynOh, that’s a hard one. My mother is an artist and my grandmother was an artist and I grew up going to museums and looking at art books. I probably didn’t start going to anything on my own until I was a teenager and haven’t stopped since. I found so much solace hanging out at the MIA as a teen when I was a bit of a misfit and I think that’s probably when I started to realize how much art meant to me.

Jackson: What is the best part of working in an art gallery?

CarolynI love working with artists and getting to know their work in a deeper way. And of course, to be surrounded by art all the time. I also really love designing and installing shows. My coworker, Alison Hiltner, and I have developed our own language and the days we spend laying out shows that have been in the works for a year or more are some of my favorites.

Jackson: I like to paint but I like installation art best. What kind of art do you like best?

CarolynI don’t know if I have a favorite medium. I seem to be drawn to painting lately, especially watercolor and gouache. I just curated a show that included a lot of paintings by Lindsay Smith at a CITIES Market Studios, one of our outside exhibition spaces, and I still can’t stop thinking about them. I become so immersed in the layers of color and feel transported into those places she has created.