Artist Statement Jerry Park
Artists’ Studios Project October 15, 2012
We celebrate excellence in every field and usually the people behind the achievement. That certainly includes the world of fine art. We marvel at how these masters can create something of beauty or moment in their chosen medium. We don’t know how they do it and perhaps secretly wish we could make artistic magic happen ourselves. Their work enriches our lives, teaches us new truths, and makes us feel things we might not otherwise feel. You can include me in this group of admirers. So, what makes them tick? Where do those skills come from? Answers are illusive and I have no fresh insights.
But, there is an aspect to the making of art that, though seldom witnessed, can provide insight into the artist and how that artist best creates. And that is Place. The place where the artist does her thing. The studio. Just like all of us who do work and are allowed to shape our working environment to best suit our needs, so, too, does the artist over time gather about him space, lighting, furniture, tools, personal items, storage, shelving, and on and on, shaping and reshaping, rearranging these elements to create mood, productivity, comfort, motivation...all those things that can enhance his best efforts. I am fascinated by personal workspace, what it tells me about the artist. Do they work with music or in absolute quiet? On an easel, the wall, the floor, a table? Is the space flooded with light, or more moody? Pristine or disheveled? Organized or cluttered? A separate structure or a part of their home? Do they go back and forth between projects or complete each one before moving on? Are they day timers or night owls? Do they go non-stop once the spirit moves, loosing track of time, or do they follow a fairly rigorous schedule, working through periods of both verdant inspiration and creative void?
Each of the artists who are represented in this project presented a unique set of answers to these and many more questions. In most cases, their own verbal descriptions of their space bordered on poetry. In every case, their studio is a living, vibrant part of who they are when they pick up the brush, stretch a canvas, turn on the potter’s wheel, wrest the magic from Photoshop, or press scraper to a lathed hunk of wood. So, we celebrate our artists and their work, and we are thankful for the critical role played by the studio.