A R T I S T G A L L E R Y
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Jamaica Plain, MA
One of the unexpected by-products of devoting myself full-time to art is meeting other artists. I want to know when they discovered they wanted to become an artist and when they realized they had become a legitimate practitioner. Some received formal art school training and even pursued an MFA. Others have taken courses and workshops to hone their skills. And others, like me, had no formal training to speak of. Almost all of them, it seems, had other careers so they could make a living, raise a family, care for aging parents, or actively engage with their communities-what you might call the ‘stuff of life.’ For many, becoming an artist was a dream deferred.
Eventually we all found a way to make art. Being/becoming an artist is not a hobby but a way of experiencing the world. A hobby is a pastime, something to dabble in, an activity that satisfies an interest. Being an artist requires much more- it has become a devotional practice for me. I now spend virtually every day engaging with my art: in the studio, writing, reading, thinking, talking, dreaming. The process of making a work of art happens over the course of years. Often, the construction of a piece of sculpture is the easiest part of the process.
When I’ve reached the art making stage, it means I’ve sufficiently struggled with a concept or idea for enough time that I am ready to create it in three dimensions. For sure, there are often technical problems to resolve in executing a work of art, but figuring out how to ‘materialize’ what I’m thinking and feeling about the world is, by far, the greatest challenge. That said, while each piece of art I make advances my conceptual and technical work as an artist, each piece is, by no means, a masterpiece. What was important to the great artists was simply making art and than making more art. The results will speak for themselves. And so, immersing myself day in and day out in this creative process is what really matters to me. It’s about honoring my devotion, perseverance and willingness to wrestle and engage with materials.