Face Making

Artist Gwenn Seemel’s bilingual blog about art, portraiture, free culture, and feminism.

The energetic nature of art-making

2012 . 02 . 24 - Comments / Commentaires (0)

Art is communication. This is true for artists who work consciously at communicating about certain subjects as well as for artists who choose to create in a less deliberate manner.

And because art is a conversation—and, more specifically, a conversation that an artist is instigating—it takes a lot of energy. If an artist never puts her-him self in a place to listen to the other half of the conversation, art-making can be very tiring. Positive, negative, or indifferent: an audience’s response is food for creativity.



red tulip bouquet

Wednesday, I put myself in just such a place for listening. I went to the opening of Image, Identity, Allegory at Western Oregon University where I’m showing a large part of my Apple Pie series. 

Thanks to the gallery prep class at the University, the exhibition looks lovely, and I met lots of nice people who asked me all sorts of interesting questions about the work. Still, it was a special handful of visitors who really made my night. Since Western Oregon is close to Willamette University, my alma mater, a few people from my old school came to the reception.

One of them was my freshman seminar advisor, the brilliant rhetoric professor who helped me find my voice as a writer. A full twelve years after her most excellent advising, Catherine’s coming to my show meant that much more to me. The others were one of the deans at Willamette and his family. They’re the people behind this commission and also the beautiful bouquet of flowers pictured above.

I don’t make art so people will give me tulips and hugs, but validation matters in a big way and evenings like this one make me that much more excited to keep on painting.

Image, Identity, Allegory
Open: through 23 March
Hours: Monday through Friday, 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM

Dan and Gail Cannon Gallery of Art
inside Campbell Hall at Western Oregon University
345 N Monmouth Avenue
Monmouth OR 97361
503.838.8607


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CATEGORIES: - English - Apple Pie - Practice -


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