Road-trip – Visit with Art Students

A few years ago I received an invitation to speak at a rural Indiana high school. I was excited about the opportunity to meet students, to talk to them about my artwork and discuss the importance of art in life.

This March, an art teacher from a school in Ohio reached out to me and offered me to meet her students and bring my talk on art to their school. On March 3rd I set out to Union City, OH. It was a snowy and quiet day. But what a delight it was to set on a road-trip!

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The students in Mrs. Austerman’s classes gave me their attention and I am so grateful be able to fill their minds with ideas on how they can let art into their lives and use it to be better people for the future world… the time when they will rule it!

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This has been a great road-trip! And I hope there are many more to come.

If you are an art teacher in a K-12 school system and you are interested in inviting me to speak at your school – please contact me on my Facebook page. I am looking forward to hearing from you!

Mandatory Expression: Kate Oberreich

Talk Looking at a painting and feeling an uneasy deja vu sensation – as if you saw something you forgot and it awoke a long-lost memory. I swear that is what I felt once I saw Kate’s work: beautiful, intriguing, and crisp-fresh! Today I introduce you to Kate Oberreich and her work.

DBF: Kate, please tell us a little about yourself.

KO: I consider myself a mixed media painter. I use acrylic, watercolor, drawing mediums and collage mostly, but try out new things all the time. My work is mostly abstract with realistic elements – whatever imagery that will push the narrative.

I grew up in Indianapolis and am a second-generation artist (potter and photographer). Because of this upbringing, I’ve always been an artist. I was never told it couldn’t be a career. My “day job” is with the Arts Council of Indianapolis as the Cultural Concierge. I get to promote and advocate for the arts in Indianapolis for a living!

I’ve been lucky enough to have a great group of clients, both in fine art and illustration, including Indianapolis Monthly and Twentieth Century Fox.

StorytellerDBF: Kate, what is your “catalyst”, what guilty pleasure inspires you, what fuels your work?

KO: I love symbolism and stories. I love making work that has a meaning, even if I’m the only one who knows it. I love listening to people discuss my work when they don’t know I’m there or who I am. They invent their own stories and it shows how universal things are.

DBF: What piece of technology makes your creative life easier?

KO: I think my iPhone has made my creative life easier. I don’t use it to directly make art, but rather to document it, research new ideas and other artists. Just having a device that is always with me to access information has made creating so much easier. I know there are those who believe it to be a distraction, and it certainly can be, but having the ability to immediately share what I’m doing with others to either promote the work or get an instant critique is invaluable.

StarcatcherDBF: What frustrates you the most as a creative person?

KO: The most frustrating thing I’ve come across as an artist is to have an idea, a picture in mind, of a piece and be unable to make it happen the way I imagined. It sometimes makes me doubt my abilities, but thankfully, I’ve often ended up with something far better.

DBF: What is the last thing you splurged on to help boost your creative productivity?

KO: Good brushes are expensive, and if treated well, will last for years. I’ve slowly begun to splurge on nicer brushes – one or two a year – in an effort to replace what I have with better quality and longer lasting ones.

Putting Down RootsDBF: Please share a small tip or a word of wisdom with our artist-readers – something that you’ve learned through your experience as an artist.

KO: Just do the work. If you love being an artist, be an artist. If being an artist is all you feel driven to do, you can find a way to make it work, even if you have to also work a “day job”.

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Would like to see more of Kate’s work and get a glimpse inside her studio? Follow Kate on Facebook www.facebook.com/kateoart. Visit her site www.kateoberreich.com. Connect on Instagram: @seedandstar and Twitter: @kateoberreich.

Mandatory Expression: Jon Smith from Wide Eyed Illuminations

 In this first interview in 2014 I would like to introduce you to Jon Smith. Jon describes himself as “a scientist and self-taught photographer.” Jon’s work focuses on accelerating entropy and captures the fraction of a second when destruction becomes art. … Continue reading