march 29, 2021

antoine j girard

antoine is an art historian, curator, and trailblazer. he has built a strong community and platform, fueled by his passion for the arts and social change and amplifies underrepresented voices in the art world. he studied art history during college and has led tours at the broad museum and has been curating for the underground museum. antoine is a leader of our generation, creating a path for others and encouraging them to find their own.

photo by scott borrero

where do you find your inspiration? who is your biggest inspiration?

community. and by that I mean the real life people who make things make sense, the leaders in my life are usually working class everyday people who have real goals tome this world better.

why do you think art is so important today? how do you think art influences social change?

I think art has the absolute ability to change the way people feel about themselves, especially minority people. it can offer us space to reimagine the mundane. I love paulo freire,”theater of the oppressed,” as a means to think about how art or any type of practice can build a muscle for change.

what is something you want your viewers to feel when they experience your work?

I’ve been coined before a social sculptor and what I would want for anyone who is attending my experiences is to feel welcome, seen, and celebrated.

how would you define “success” for an artist/curator/historian?

joy, how much joy you inspire. how can you motivate people to choose happiness in a world bent on making us sink into sadness.

because you have such an influencing platform, do you feel you have a responsibility to represent the POC community?

absolutely, these are my people, how they are presented in the world and respected in art spaces is my life duties.

you’re in the middle of a show at jeffrey deitch gallery (congrats on that!) – what’s next for you? are you working on anything currently?

thank you. my first show, what a moment. and yes! I can’t say yet but more projects similar to what I’ve built out at deitch gallery. there are SO many more artists and stories than I was able to tell in this moment. but I believe in the community. all in divine time, I want to continue building cohorts and collectives to challenge notions of only one successful artist or voice of color at a time. we should all know each other and build horizontally. so yes, my goal is more collective moments through art.

anything you would like to add?

I’ll say this – creatives, anyone reading this. please continue to create. don’t wait for a show to come along or someone to notice. make the opportunity. work toward a light only you can see. that’s happiness, always pure happiness.

march 15, 2021

anna irene lewis 

studying the depths of the unknown, anna uses oil paints as her tool of exploration. she creates captivating images that fixate the viewers mind into a level of transcendence. by blending vibrant colors and manipulating shapes, a harmonious contrast is presented and invites the curiosity of our spiritual nature. when anna is not painting in oregon, usa, she’s traveling internationally as a field consultant and has lived in myanmar, uganda, kenya, and ghana. 

what inspired you to paint nebulae? 

the first time I truly saw the milky way camping outside of flagstaff, I knew I wanted to capture what that moment was like in a painting. I felt inspired to learn more and came across the most amazing deep spaces images of nebulae. I love that when I’m painting them, it looks abstract, but it is realism. I want to spark curiosity and put people in awe when they look at my artwork. the same way space does when you look into the night sky. 

what do you do when you’re not feeling inspired to paint? 

steven pressfield wrote a book called “the war of art.” he says he forces himself to sit down to write for at least 4 hours. he doesn’t worry how badly he writes. he just writes. I try to remind myself of this when I sit down to paint. especially in times when I have not created in a while, it can be challenging to start. I try not to focus on my mistakes because of how “rusty” I feel and instead trust that the flow will come with consistency and presence. a good podcast or playlist always helps me stay focused and get started too.

how do you know when a painting is done? 

honestly, this is one of my biggest challenges. I feel like I can work on a painting forever, but I try to stop when I feel good about it. if I love it and it looks close to what I want it to look like, then I am done. I’ll never give a painting to a collector if I am not satisfied with it. 

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