Cristina Velazquez // Dressed For All I Must Be

I must bear children, I must clean the house, I must cook, I must be beautiful, I must keep good hygiene, I must have the right measurements, I must be a good lover, I must be a saint, I must be a healer, I must be…

Everything is a must—I must accomplish many chores in my life, in order to keep other people’s life going.  These responsibilities are like aprons that I must wear over my dress; I put one on then take it off and replace it with a different one.  There is a dress for every occasion in my life.  Each represents a task or an attitude I must posses in order to be a complete woman.  In this body of work I exposed all the different roles I must be successful at as a woman.  Although different religions and cultures impose these same ideas on women in different parts of the world, I too must follow each and every one of them.  They follow me like ghosts.  I must always be something for someone because I was born a woman and must fulfill my roles. 

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Signed, "steeled", delivered: They're yours!

Artist Dale Rogers (Haverhill, Massachusetts) creates large-scale steel sculptures for private collectors and public art installations. With a signature combination of simple geometric shapes and iconic imagery, Dale strives to create work that is thought-provoking, easily recognized, and sophisticated.

 
 

Dale’s interest in art is a lifelong passion.  His welding skills are self-taught, he embraced the techniques of TIG welding to repair farm equipment on his family farm. The Rogers family has owned and operated Spring Hill Farm in Haverhill since 1902.

“Unfortunately, or fortunately, I was a horrible welder,’’ he said. “I began making sculpture just to become a better welder. That’s where the love affair started.’’

 
 

Cor-ten steel, Dale’s primary material, is chosen for its “long life/low maintenance” reputation. “It is what cities and the federal government use to make bridges out of,” he writes. This corrosion-resistant material rusts naturally and over time develops a rough outer layer.

 
 

Stainless steel is beautiful and versatile. The surface can be hand-soured in many different finishes. Where the cor-ten creates an organic and simple statement, the stainless steel brings a modern pizazz and punch.

 
 

Powder-coating is a thick, shiny shellac, very similar to the paint on an car. Powdercoat is corrosion-resistant, and is made of finely ground plastics mixed with pigment.

 
 

Make one of these unique sculptures your own this year.
To inquire further, please contact:
fineart@jcosplace.com

 

FLAG DAY: RYAN CARRINGTON

All works on view and available through JCO'S Art Haus.

Flag 7 • 46 X 91 • carpenter's pants, suits, collared shirts, neckties 

 

My work highlights blue-collar workers as hardworking heroes of our society. It honors their perseverance and loyalty in taking unglamorous jobs seriously and executing them with both incredible precision and an artistic touch.  

 
  Flag 7  • detail

Flag 7 • detail

 

The dwindling appreciation that society yields to blue-collar workers is alarming, and through my work I attempt to elevate the status of all blue-collar workers in America.
 

 
  Flag 7  - detail

Flag 7 - detail


Within this body of work I deal with a wide range of issues that connect labor, class, economics with my personal history and family. Using cast objects and construction materials that combine craftsmanship with symbolic irony, I am able to communicate my thoughts, ideas, and memories on themes of labor.

 
 Flag 5 • 36 X 68 • carpenter's pants, suits, collared shirts, neckties

Flag 5 • 36 X 68 • carpenter's pants, suits, collared shirts, neckties

 

I use my life’s experiences as a springboard for my ideas to develop and eventually deploy in both performance and gallery installation.  Having worked as a landscaper, maintenance man, and construction worker, I have gained an appreciation for this select group of workers who comprise the engine that runs this great country.

 
  Flag 6  • 68 X 36 • carpenter's pants, suits, collared shirts, neckties

Flag 6 • 68 X 36 • carpenter's pants, suits, collared shirts, neckties

 

To read the full interview by Aimee Santos from Los Retratos, click here

DRAWN IN: TOBIAS TOVERA

Tobias Tovera (Oakland, CA) is a sculptor by trade-- earning a BFA in the practice at California College of the Arts; he has studied with the mfa program at San Francisco Arts' Institute. tovera's current series is a study in alchemy in the truest sense of the word: turing "base" materials into "noble" materials. 


  Celite • 48 x 48 • mineral on panel

Celite • 48 x 48 • mineral on panel

Sourcing mineralized salt from the flats of the South Bay; water from the San Francisco Bay and local rivers-- Tovera transmutes these humble materials into truly unique art through experimental, self-taught alchemy. 


Biolith • 48 X 48 • mineral on panel


Writes local arts critic Bill Sasser for Art Voices Magazine:

"Poured horizontally in multiple layers on wood panels coated with iron oxide, chemical interactions between various elements spontaneously create his colors through oxidation.  Variable rates of evaporation and different patterns of crystallization and oxidation create layered graduations of texture, color, and space. A single painting may take six months to complete, becoming a topography of the passage of time. "



The resultant works are evocative of the natural. Each color is a result of a chemical reaction with the solvant, salt, or chemical with the iron; enhanced through the addition of fire. 


Efflux • 60 X 60 • mineral on panel


Tovera's artistic practice further extends into the curatorial, founding the ark project's artist-in-residence program.
a collaboration with artist in residence Ari Rudenko, tobias tovera, and denise susanne townsend opens this friday, june 1.



ORIGIN
Ari Rudenko + Tobias Tovera + Denise Susanne Townsend

Thursday, June 1st to June 8th
 



ABOUT THE ARTIST: TOBIAS TOVERA

  Artist Tobias Tovera in his studio. Image courtesy of Studio Journal Knock.

Artist Tobias Tovera in his studio. Image courtesy of Studio Journal Knock.

Tobias Tovera is an American visual artist recognized for his work in painting and the sensory surrounds of his multi-media installations. Tovera was born in Sacramento, California and studied at the California College of the Arts and the San Francisco Art Institute.

His work has been exhibited in solo and group shows in the United States and Europe, and is part of numerous private, public, and corporate collections. Using the concept of time as a foundation, Tovera’s studio practice explores energy systems, finding new dimensions in his materials as they metamorphose from one form to the next.

The conception of his work was inspired by alchemy, medicine, and the primordial formations of living matter. From the chemistry of water reacting with minerals to a magic that reaches beyond science, Tovera’s work examines opposing elements such as nature and artifice, chaos and order, to reveal how they interact, transform, or propel each other.

Tovera states, “I want my art to spark connection with nature and through process and alchemy, create a visual form that liberates both an intimate as well as an unknown aspect of the cosmos.” During the course of his career Tovera has developed two bodies of work in painting and a series of multi-media installations.

His new work investigates the interplay between his paintings and his installations and how they inform each other. Tobias lives and works in the San Francisco Bay Area of California and is the founder of the Ark Project, an international artist residency program. He has been awarded with residencies at the Performance Art Institute, Root Division, and Local Language Art and has been published in Studio Journal Knock, Studio Visit, and Art Voices Magazine.   

'We expect art to give us a sense of connection to the world and ourselves. We expect nature to give us the same thing. Tovera’s work, in its embrace of entropy and fluidity, its references to and imitation of the natural world, plays on this parallel set of expectations. Are his paintings nature or art? Maybe they are both.' 

-Victoria Gannon

DRAWN IN: RUSS WAGNER

A work of art can truly compel us, when an artist inspires us to see something familiar in a new and different way. Artist Russ Wagner, whose career in financial sales brought him around the world, has combined the techniques of masters to create dazzling, saturated portraits of a dreamlike San Francisco.
 

as an function of wagner's career as a successful financial salesman, wagner traveled the world, visiting museums and absorbing international arts and culture. In his travels, he encountered two artists whose work inspired him above all others: Vincent Van Gogh, and Edward Hopper. 

 
HydeStreetBayView-RussWagner
 

To inquire about this piece:
Email: fineart@jcosplace.com
Text: 408 - 909 - JCOS

 

From Van Gogh, Wagner was inspired by a saturated color palette. The Impressionist tendency to capture a moment in time.  "I am inspired by movement, strong color and candid interactions between people and their environment. Capturing that one small moment in time that holds so much emotion," says Wagner.

 

 

ABOUT RUSS WAGNER

russ-wagner-artist

Russ Wagner has been painting for over 15 years and resides in
Pt. Richmond California.  Known for his bright, fauve-influenced use of color, Wagner paints the "unseen" colors he perceives in both interior and outdoor scenes.

His unique brushstroke and warm color palette evokes a sense
of motion and passion.  Wagner's oil paintings, inspired by years of studying the Masters including Hopper and van Gogh, capture the vitality of life.

His current exhibits focus on San Francisco cityscapes and
historic streetcars.  "I am inspired by movement, strong color and candid interactions between people and their environment.
Capturing that one small moment in time that holds so much
emotion," says Wagner.

Wagner's sense of craft can be seen in his exacting choice of
canvas and high-quality paints. His work is divided between
commissioned pieces, for which he works with his clients to develop
the subject and theme, as well as a variety of outdoor and candid scenes.

Wagner received a bachelor's degree in finance from
Arizona State University in 1987. After a successful career in
financial sales, Wagner chose to devote his time to his true passion
of painting life in motion.

DENIAL // ONCE YOU POP.... // on view through feb. 6TH

 DENIAL // Aerosol on Board

DENIAL // Aerosol on Board

DENIAL (Daniel Bombardier) is a Canadian artist whose work critiques consumerism and the human condition.  

DENIAL // One Day Sale // 24 X 24 & 48 X 48 // Aerosol on Birch Panel

THOUGH BASED IN WINDSOR ONTARIO, DENIAL SPENDS MUCH OF THE YEAR TRAVELING AND EXHIBITING THROUGHOUT CANADA AND USA, HAVING DONE SOLO SHOWS IN LOS ANGELES, CHICAGO, NEW YORK, TORONTO AND VANCOUVER.

DENIAL // We Will Destroy Each Other! // 36 X 24 // Aerosol on Birch Wood Panel

In 2000 he adopted the moniker ‘DENIAL’ as a means of poking fun at advertising, politics and media messages that contemporary society is often ‘in denial’ about. 


Intended as a conceptual means of marketing absurdism, DENIAL also challenges traditional notions of graffiti and public art through his bold and often satirical visual subversions.



 

 

QUINN PECK /// THE LIMINALITY SERIES

In these images I play and interact with different selves, enacting characters I never fully identified with through self-portraiture. For me this work conjures themes of vulnerability, the feminine, transitory states, dreams, death and rebirth.

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THE GOLDEN GATE BRIDGE (1937)

  Image courtesy of History Deconstructed

Image courtesy of History Deconstructed

Since it opened to traffic in May of 1937, the world has had a love affair with the Golden Gate Bridge. Built during the Depression, this man made monument, demonstrating the strength and determination of the human spirit, has fascinated many with its awesome size and beauty. The construction of this bridge across San Francisco’s Golden Gate sought to defy nature itself. In addition to an earthquake in 1935, workers fought against the rough waters of the open sea as well as constant wind, which could reach up to 70 miles per hour. Yet, they prevailed, and upon its completion, the Golden Gate Bridge, reaching a complete span of 4,200 feet, was the largest suspension bridge ever built in its time.


THE PEDESTRIAN HANDRAIL  (1937 – 1993)

961772912-golden-gate-bridge-san-francisco-sidewalk-handrail.jpg

Over the years, the Bridge's maintenance mostly consisted of constant repainting in order to preserve its overall beauty and the steel's integrity. However, after 56 years, the severe winds and salt air of the open ocean had begun to deteriorate and compromise portions of the pedestrian handrail. So in 1993, the Golden Gate Bridge Highway and Transportation District replaced a significant amount of the pedestrian handrail, which the Golden Gate Design & Furniture Co. later acquired.


A PASSION AND AN IDEA (1994)

  Image courtesy of  SFGATE

Image courtesy of SFGATE

One afternoon in 1994, a San Francisco television station did a news story on the fate of the Golden Gate Bridge steel that was removed during the handrail replacement in 1993. Richard Bulan, who was born in San Francisco and raised in the Bay Area, thought it would be great to have a headboard made from the historical steel. Through perseverance, he managed to track down the name of the contractor and get a section of the approximately 12-foot long, 1000 pound handrail to his home. He then spent over a month cutting and grinding down the section of handrail, until he had not only crafted one headboard, but also three more just like it. When friends began expressing interest in purchasing the headboards, Richard realized the potential market and the Golden Gate Design & Furniture Co. was born.


GOLDEN GATE DESIGN & FURNITURE (1994)

From the Bridge’s original 1930’s handrail, the Golden Gate Design & Furniture Co. has created a line of unique collector’s edition furniture that captures the historical spirit and style of San Francisco’s Golden Gate Bridge. Therefore, you no longer have to settle for mere pictures or trinkets to represent this engineering marvel. The Golden Gate Design & Furniture Co. now allows you to make this breathtaking monument a part of your home or office in both a functional and artistic way.

FROM THE ARCHIVES • WILL MARINO /// DARTBOARD ART


WILL MARINO is a Connecticut-born, Santa Cruz-based recycled materials artist. His work has been featured in the JCO'S group exhibition “Viewing Nature Through Art", an eclectic study of flora and fauna curated by Julie Jenkins. His work has been widely exhibited throughout California, and is featured in the permanent collection of NBC Studios (Studio City, CA). 
Here, we explore Marino’s new works, made of unwound paper dartboards, currently in the archives at JCO’s Place. 


AT FIRST GLANCE, Will Marino's swirling, snaking forms appear natural and somehow inevitable. Gentle swirls in pale colors edge up against each other, referencing the natural movement of wind and water-- as shown here, in Marino's Beekeeper's Series. 

 

MARINO // Beekeepers Series #2 • 12 X 12 X 1.5 • Reclaimed Dartboard Paper on Board
EMAIL FINEART@JCOSPLACE.COM FOR PRICE

 

And yet, as explored in JCO'S Art Blog post, INSIDE THE STUDIO WITH WILL MARINO, the process behind these pieces is multilayered and complex. The source material--machine-made paper dartboards--is inorganic and painstakingly extracted.  Buried beneath the painted surface of the dartboard are rings of wound paper, which are extracted by the artist and carefully pulled apart into long strips of paper. 

All that’s remaining of the dartboard’s color and pattern is on the edge of these long strips of paper.
As I rewind the paper strips, new patterns emerge, intricate spirals and concentric circles replace the dark and light wedges, numbers and text that used to be a dartboard.
I work the rewound strips into different shapes and combine them with long sections of fragmented text or pattern to create images that reference the dynamic nature of the world around us.
— WILL MARINO

Yards and yards of paper ribbon are yielded by a single dartboard, each strip colored along the edges, evidence of it's former life as a dive bar / man cave staple. This process is repeated time and time again, the parsing apart, the un-winding, the re-winding... A sense of repetition, reflected in the artist's process, in the media used. 

Each intervention the artist makes into the dartboard provides another layer of abstraction and distance from its original source material

 

MARINO // Turbulence • 16 X 16 X 2.5 • Reclaimed Dartboard Paper on Board
EMAIL FINEART@JCOSPLACE.COM FOR PRICE

 

Here, by reducing his color palette to simple black and white, Marino places an emphasis is placed on pattern and rhythm. 

 

MARINO // Map of Nearby Galaxies • 18 X 18 X 1.5 • Reclaimed Dartboard Paper on Board

 
 

SIDEWALK SALE! JEFF OWEN // NOIR



JEFF OWEN // Innuendo • 34 X 13 X 4.5 • Painted Steel • WAS $840 // NOW $700


JEFF OWEN // Ascent • 28 X 12 X 7 • Painted Steel • WAS $960 // NOW $800


JEFF OWEN // Gallium • 28 X 16 X 10 • Painted Steel • WAS $1,200 / NOW $1,000


JEFF OWEN // Head of a Woman • 27 X 12 X 9 • Painted Steel • WAS $1,080 / NOW $900


JEFF OWEN // Inverse • 76 X 18 X 16 • Painted Steel • WAS $2,640 / NOW $2,200


ABOUT THE ARTIST

 

My sculptures combine the past and the present.

I have a deep affinity toward the materials I work with, a wonderful sense of emotion, feelings, and dreams for what the material was once used for and now what it will become in my hands. These feelings direct me on my path.

My processes emerge with patterns. Taking one piece of steel, adding to it, deleting from it, constantly discovering the metal’s unique appeal. When a sculpture encompasses all of my creative energy, it is finished.

My technique is brute force, decide-at-the-moment. The interesting shapes of metal; the patterns, textures, and grains; all entice me. I am fascinated with form.

My aspiration is to create sculpture that is completely unique; that no one has done before. I resist conformity and mass production.

My art is as individual as I am.                    

 - JEFF OWEN

GORDON SMEDT /// FLORABUNDA

 SMEDT // FloraBunda • 64 X 44 • oil on canvas over panel • $14,000

SMEDT // FloraBunda • 64 X 44 • oil on canvas over panel • $14,000

THE ONLY THING HOTTER THAN A SANTA CRUZ SUMMER

AVAILABLE EXCLUSIVELY THROUGH JCO'S PLACE

 
 

ron OBURN /// Strength in Numbers

Monte Sereno artisan Ron Oburn creates custom designed, upcycled license plate guitars... A lighthearted blend of kitsch and nostalgia. 

And this one brings new meaning to the Golden State Warrior's rally cry: STRENGTH IN NUMBERS. 

 OBURN // Golden State Warriors Guitar // upcycled license plates // price upon  request

OBURN // Golden State Warriors Guitar // upcycled license plates // price upon request


On the head:
Steph Curry's #30

2015 World Champions #15
Harrson Barnes, #40
Steph Curry, #30

Andre Iguodala, #9
Klay Thompson, #11
Draymond Green, #23

Along the outsides of the body, the years of the Warriors' World Championship wins: 1947, 1956, 1995, 2015  

A perfect gift for your dad or grad, to commemorate this record-shattering season. 

GOLDEN STATE WARRIORS GUITAR is currently on view on JCO'S Place. 

A BRUSH WITH GREATNESS

MEET AMERICA'S POP ARTIST, JOHN STANGO

When it comes to America and art, John Stango wears his heart on his sleeve, and on his paint splattered pants and shoes, as he puts in a full day at the office – his paint-speckled studio on Philadelphia’s south side

 

FLAG • 24 X 40 • Acrylic on Canvas

 

“I love America and I love life as an entertainer,” says Stango, as he swipes broad strokes of bright blue and black acrylic paint on a giant canvas featuring his latest renditions of starlets Marilyn Monroe and Audrey Hepburn. “I’m a painter who’s a lot like a standup comedian with a brush,” Stango explains. “The more in your face my paintings are, the better.”

 

Marilyn Monroe [Cotton Candy Dream] • 48 X 40 • Acrylic on Canvas

 

His in-your-face, testosterone-fueled style was fostered during the formative years, when he was the perennial class clown with a natural quick wit. Now it’s his explosive color palette that lures the audience in before he delivers the punchline with the signature detail, and clever whimsy of his paintings. 

The influences of pop art greats Andy Warhol, Peter Max, Robert Rauschenberg, Jean-Michel Basquiat, and LeRoy Neiman are evident in John’s masterful work that captures iconic pop figures like only Stango can. “I really dig the whole vibe around Andy Warhol,” Stango noted. “Warhol was one of the biggest American artists of all time, and certainly one of the biggest influences on me and my brand of pop art.”

 
 Andy Warhol on Soup • 40 X 30 • Acrylic on Canvas

Andy Warhol on Soup • 40 X 30 • Acrylic on Canvas

 

Stango uses a unique combination of hand silk screening, intense brush strokes and explosions of color to create his distinctive and highly sought after paintings. His subjects range from Hollywood and political icons to sports heroes and a new spin on Americana. His iconic concept pieces that showcase some of John’s most imaginative work feature sexy bombshells, designer logos and cultural imagery in clever, one-of-a-kind compositions. “Who else paints flowers growing from a can of baked beans,” Stango mused. “I’m not always sure where it all comes from, but the goal is to make people smile.”

 

 Ghirardelli Flowers • 48 X 36 • Acrylic on Canvas

Ghirardelli Flowers • 48 X 36 • Acrylic on Canvas

 

Stango didn’t start painting seriously until his early twenties. He excelled at the Tyler School of Art at Temple University, and he would later discover that art is literally in his blood. The artistic talents John and his late mother, Frances Elaine Rockwell, shared could be traced back to a cousin – famed American artist Norman Rockwell. “My mother was such a great painter, but she never had a chance to pursue an art career and never really talked much about our Rockwell family ties,” John explained. “I’m proud to be part of keeping a family tradition and legacy alive.”


REFLECTING ON ROCKWELL

 
 
 ROCKWELL • Portrait of John F. Kennedy (1960) • 16 x 12 •  Oil on Canvas

ROCKWELL • Portrait of John F. Kennedy (1960) • 16 x 12 •  Oil on Canvas

 STANGO • JFK (2016) • 50 X 38 • Acrylic on Paper

STANGO • JFK (2016) • 50 X 38 • Acrylic on Paper

 

As John Stango sees it, Norman Rockwell was the Andy Warhol of his time. Magazine covers were the Internet of the 1940s through the 1970s and for nearly 60 years Norman Rockwell created hundreds of cover paintings for top magazines like the Saturday Evening Post. Rockwell considered magazines to be the “greatest show window in America.” Stango and artists today have a split-second window to make a big impression with their work, competing for eyeballs with films, television shows and a constant barrage of online imagery. 

 
 American Badass • 64 X 50 • Acrylic on Canvas

American Badass • 64 X 50 • Acrylic on Canvas

 

“My paintings should grab people by their shirt,” says Stango. “And I really think my work would stop Norman Rockwell in his tracks. I have no doubt he would dig these paintings.” If Stango’s cable guy is any indication, his pop art has struck a chord with the masses. “Our cable guy came over to connect my service and just stopped and stood there in front of one of my paintings on the wall,” John recalled. “I said, ‘Hey the TV’s over here’, and he said, ‘Wow, this painting is so cool.’ He lost himself in that painting for a while,” Stango said with a chuckle. “That’s the kind of reaction I’m getting from celebrities, politicians, and just about everyone who sees these paintings.”

 
 James Bond • 70 X 80 • Acrylic on Canvas

James Bond • 70 X 80 • Acrylic on Canvas

 

Stango is a hardworking artist, a prolific painter much like Warhol and Rockwell were. As a result, his work is in more than a dozen galleries and hundreds of homes and businesses across the U.S. He refuses to take shortcuts, as evidenced by the handmade, hand-pulled silkscreen imagery that has become a trademark of John’s cutting-edge pop pieces. 

 
 Triple Threat • 50 X 60 • Acrylic and Hand-Pulled Silk Screen on Canvas

Triple Threat • 50 X 60 • Acrylic and Hand-Pulled Silk Screen on Canvas

 

STANGO'S WORK WILL BE ON VIEW AT JCO'S PLACE THROUGH APRIL 10TH

 

RUSS WAGNER - Inside the Artist's Studio

Russ Wagner's Pt. Richmond studio is nearly as colorful as his warm, textured canvasses. 

The artist uses a variety of brushes and a palette knife to create heavily textured works, inspired by Impressionist masters like Monet and van Gogh.

 Wagner's painting boots

Wagner's painting boots

Wagner achieves his signature luminosity by creating densely layered paintings. The underpainting creates a saturated canvas that sets off the final colors. Applying paint with a palette knife creates textured edges and bold swaths of color. 
A final archival layer of lacquer, applied once the thick oil paint has dried, will protect the carefully-engineered colors from fading with time. 

"These paintings will look as good in thirty years as they do they day I finish painting them." - Russ Wagner

russ6.jpg

INTERVIEW: Ryan Carrington

Q&A WITH RYAN, INTERVIEW CONDUCTED BY AIMEE SANTOS

What themes do you explore in your work? Are there particular themes that interest you right now?

  Carrington works on one of his flags in his office/studio space at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, CA.  In the background hangs one of his Chalk Line drawings using a carpenter's Chalk Snap-Line tool.  Photo © Aimee Santos

Carrington works on one of his flags in his office/studio space at Santa Clara University in Santa Clara, CA.  In the background hangs one of his Chalk Line drawings using a carpenter's Chalk Snap-Line tool.  Photo © Aimee Santos

My work highlights blue-collar workers as hardworking heroes of our society. It honors their perseverance and loyalty in taking unglamorous jobs seriously and executing them with both incredible precision and an artistic touch.  The dwindling appreciation that society yields to blue-collar workers is alarming, and through my work I attempt to elevate the status of all blue-collar workers in America.

Within this body of work I deal with a wide range of issues that connect labor, class, economics with my personal history and family. Using cast objects and construction materials that combine craftsmanship with symbolic irony, I am able to communicate my thoughts, ideas, and memories on themes of labor. I use my life’s experiences as a springboard for my ideas to develop and eventually deploy in both performance and gallery installation.  Having worked as a landscaper, maintenance man, and construction worker, I have gained an appreciation for this select group of workers who comprise the engine that runs this great country.

  'Flag #1' in Carrington's Flag Series show layers of men's suits and Carhartt workman's pants as the strips and men's ties as the stars.  Photo © Aimee Santos

'Flag #1' in Carrington's Flag Series show layers of men's suits and Carhartt workman's pants as the strips and men's ties as the stars.  Photo © Aimee Santos

Tell me about the medium(s) that you work in. What do you like about these mediums? What challenges you in working with these mediums?

I work in a wide range of mediums and my work ranges from cast metal objects, to performances, to clothing, to drawing with non-traditional materials.  I believe that the piece should dictate the medium, because the materials used inform the concepts behind the work.  Working in this interdisciplinary fashion often brings challenges in that I am constantly learning new techniques and the nuances of various materials, but this method of working is what excites me in the studio.

What is your ideal work environment? Do you need to shut yourself off from the world or are you inspired by music / people / environments around you?

  "Screw Relief #3" Screws and Plywood 26"x22"x3" 2013.  Image courtesy of the Artist Ryan Carrington

"Screw Relief #3" Screws and Plywood 26"x22"x3" 2013.  Image courtesy of the Artist Ryan Carrington

One of the greatest parts of being an educator is being around the thoughts and ideas of your students.  For much of my studio practice I enjoy working with and next to other people, exchanging energy and ideas.  I do however always have projects that I am working on at home by myself, allowing me to have a more private studio experience.  I guess in some ways I have found a balance that works well for me between being in a busy studio and a private workspace.

I know it can be hard for artists to part with their work. Is there a particular piece that you will never sell?

I don’t have a problem parting with my work as I see selling an art piece as a way of giving it another life.  There are few things as rewarding as having someone like something that you have made so much that they want to live with it.  I make-work because I have a deep internal need to, and if someone wants to purchase it, well, that is a bonus in this exploration that I am going through.

Rarely do I make art for myself, but I recently made a cast iron version of my late Grandfather’s hat.  I think I’ll put that one on my shelf.

Did you always want to be an artist or is this something that you came to later on?

  Fabric is everywhere in Carrington's office/studio at Santa Clara University as he works on his Flag Series project for his upcoming solo show at JCO's Place in Los Gatos, CA.  Photo © Aimee Santos

Fabric is everywhere in Carrington's office/studio at Santa Clara University as he works on his Flag Series project for his upcoming solo show at JCO's Place in Los Gatos, CA.  Photo © Aimee Santos

I grew up surrounded by creativity and handy work.  My mother was a fiber artist, my father had a woodshop, and my brother and I were always encouraged to make things, and attend summer art camps.

That being said, I knew that I wanted to be an educator from an early age, I even joined the Future Teacher’s Club in sixth grade, but I was interested in teaching either biology or physics.  All through high school I continued to take both art and science classes, and when I started college I took mostly science courses.  I did however have one ceramics class and soon realized that I had a passion for the studio beyond my passion for the lab, and changed majors my sophomore year.

You teach art at San Jose State and Santa Clara University, so I imagine that you’ve spent a lot of time with new/emerging artists struggling to figure things out. What’s the one thing that you think a new artist needs to know?

  As a previous professor of sculpture at San Jose State University Carrington helped students learn about welding and metal works, pictured on the left, he watches a student practice a tight weld at the Foundry Metal Works in San Jose, CA.  Photo © Aimee Santos

As a previous professor of sculpture at San Jose State University Carrington helped students learn about welding and metal works, pictured on the left, he watches a student practice a tight weld at the Foundry Metal Works in San Jose, CA.  Photo © Aimee Santos

To be an artist takes an incredible amount of dedication, drive, intelligence, craftsmanship, maturity, and pluck.  The amebic like definition of what it means to be an artist is one that is constantly changing, and keeping up with scholarly research regarding contemporary art movements is extremely important.  It isn’t so much that young artist’s work needs to always be at the forefront of the next movement, but rather to understand where they fit within the art continuum.  It is this, as well as an uninhibited commitment to their studio practice that will allow them to find their voices as artists, and elevate their work beyond themselves.

The world is changing, and the next generation is going to be one that has more schooling and is more informed than ever before.  The job market is going to be completely saturated with intelligent people, and what is going to set them apart is the power of creative problem solving.  The skills and way of thinking garnished from being enrolled in art courses go well beyond the studio, and these are the lessons that will help shape the future of our society.

  Carrington, on the left, manages the flow of iron during a past iron pour at the San Jose State University Metal Works Foundry.  Photo © Aimee Santos

Carrington, on the left, manages the flow of iron during a past iron pour at the San Jose State University Metal Works Foundry.  Photo © Aimee Santos

  Carrington leaves a screw higher than the others to test out the aesthetics before adding more to a Screw Relief Drawing.  Photo © Aimee Santos

Carrington leaves a screw higher than the others to test out the aesthetics before adding more to a Screw Relief Drawing.  Photo © Aimee Santos

  Henry Carrington watches his father Ryan work on his Screw Relief Drawings on the kitchen table.  Normally Ryan works on these pieces after Henry has gone to sleep so this is the first time his son has been present to see the creation of his father's art.  Photo © Aimee Santos

Henry Carrington watches his father Ryan work on his Screw Relief Drawings on the kitchen table.  Normally Ryan works on these pieces after Henry has gone to sleep so this is the first time his son has been present to see the creation of his father's art.  Photo © Aimee Santos