Our q.&A. exchange with Gary Anderson, one of our featured artists for First Friday Artwalk, June 2016
GA: I didn’t start making art as a youngster and never took an art class until I was a sophomore in college. In high school, I took all types of drafting classes. Also in high school, I began drawing faces from my yearbook and from magazine covers
AC: We know you have multiple disciplines under your belt. You’re adept in photography, graphic design, you’ve been a teacher, and you work with a variety of materials in your recent works, including fabric, hide, paper, copper, etc. Are you ever in conflict with desires to go in several artistic directions at once?
GA: I embrace my manic art behaviors. I enjoy creating textured, 2-D & 3-D things. I like taking casually discarded or seemingly valueless objects, parts, and pieces out of their traditional contexts and offering them a sort of afterlife in a new context.
AC: Are there any media or materials you’ve not yet tried that you’re interested in using?
GA: I’m sure there are and when they will present themselves to me, I trust I’ll be open minded enough to explore them.
AC: Do you have a favorite piece of artwork you’ve generated, and why is it special to you?
GA: “When I Die, Scatter Me” opened the doors to more sewing, fresh frayed textures, additional opportunities, and more importantly -- more depth of meaning.
AC: What drives your progress more: the end result (finished product) or the day-to-day ‘doing’ of it?
GA: I believe I have to put in regular art-making hours whether I feel like working or not. Art ideas seem to happen more when I put in hours of non-glamorous work. Reading, looking at art, and talking to fellow artists provides additional inspiration. After that, sometimes if I am working and listening, a piece of art appears.
AC: How do you hope your work connects with viewers on a spiritual level?
GA: Artists have a bucket of experiences that they express in one way or another. The visual art viewer has a bucket of experiences, too. Sometimes the stuff in a viewer’s bucket matches the stuff in the artist’s bucket and a new level of communication is reached. The viewer and the artist connect on a deeper level.
AC: How does giving of your time, your volunteerism and serving on art councils, benefit or reward you?
GA: I feel I’m paying it forward. I am comfortable in a supportive role that may in some way benefit fellow artists.
AC: Do you have any recent accomplishments or milestones to report?
GA: My work is beginning to make its way into more businesses, homes and hearts!