For thirty days the back gallery of Eyedrum, in Atlanta, GA, became my studio. I worked as if in the privacy of my studio but left the doors wide open for the community to both experience and become a part of my process. To chronicle the development of the process, I made daily posts to an actual timeline on the gallery wall as well as to Youtube, Wordpress, and Facebook. Visitors to the gallery pinned their responses to the timeline in the gallery as well.
30 Days is about opening doors, welcoming people in, and making a beautifully honest work of art. I wanted to bridge the gaps that all too often separate the art from the artist, the artist from the people, and ultimately the art from the people.
What's your Relationship with art?
One morning, early, on in the thirty days, I walked into the studio to find the walls covered in chalk murals. Over night, while I was at a Neil Young concert, folks had been inspired and took it upon themselves to create. It’s one thing to say I want people to feel welcome and a part of my process. It’s quite another thing to experience it! At first I was shell-shocked. I couldn’t process the sudden change to the space. It felt like an invasion. In time though, I realized that the murals meant I was being successful in my mission. I was simply going to have to toughen up and get used to a new sort of exposure and vulnerability.
30 Days was a beautiful experience. Maintaining vulnerability and honesty in my work has always been important to me, but 30 Days really pushed me to the limits of what that means. Figuring out how to let go and intuitively create with an ever present audience was a difficult thing to do. I work differently now. I am less afraid of the process and where it might take me. I’ve learned to trust myself more dynamically. Remaining focused while also receiving feedback from a diverse audience is a difficult experience, but one I’m glad I forced on myself.
It's really interesting to watch a painting come to life. I made several works of art during the thirty days, but this is definitely my favorite. I had to let go of fear, shame, and privacy to make such a personal painting public. For me this painting is about memory. Horizon lines are inherently meditative and the figures fade in and out of the painting as they do in life.