I know that when I was in art school back in the olden days, I was terribly allergic to the concept of dating, much less marrying, another artist. I was self-aware enough to know my competitiveness would ultimately thwart the relationship, plus, if you've gone to a classic art school (especially 20+ years back), the odds of getting hooked up with a self-absorbed prig was pretty high. No, a regular Joe was the only option for me, and I did in fact marry 20 years ago to, of all people, a boy from my high school crowd I bumped into while in college and reacquainted myself with. None of my artsy couple friends lasted more than a year or so, much less married.
So, can love and art survive together in wedded bliss? And if so, how?
I've met some lovely couples in the art world, and it apparently seemed that marriage can work, and in many ways, bolster the creative works of both people in the marriage. In talking with many of these couples, it occurred to me that this would make a really interesting exhibit. I invited seven couples and gave each of them free reign to use a wall space however they choose.
A few of these couples are barely out of newlywed status, such as Mark and Sara (nee Betsy) Winters and Justin and Annie Stegg Gerard. A few of them span decades, such as Norman and Tory Taber and Brian and Wendy Froud. But no matter how new or established the relationship, it's abundantly clear that something was worked out between them, and the result is very special.
Take Greg Spalenka and Roxana Villa, for example. This couple married later in life and although Roxana has an art background and can hold her own with illustration, she became enamored of the world of scents and perfume. Sensitive to chemicals, she strove to create all natural, unusual scents first for herself, then to sell as Illuminated Perfumes. Greg and Roxana worked together on her product, with him creating art for her packaging and marketing endeavors. The result is sensuous and reflective of her vision (and his as well). These two enjoy working together despite having very different directions in work (he is a graphic artist and workshop instructor with his Artist as Brand).
|#5 Bois, Banner image for Roxana Illuminated Perfumes, Greg Spalenka|
|Children of the Forest, gouache, Emily Fiegenschuh|
|The Green Man, gouache, Vinod Rams|
|Are You Still Cold?, Acrylic and gouache, Tory Taber|
|Cut the Clouds Full, Assemblage, Norman Taber|
|Princess' New Pony, Oil, Omar Rayyan|
|Sun, Stoneware, Sheila Rayyan|
|Medusa, canvas print of oil painting, Mark Winters|
|Serra, Digital painting with gold leaf on canvas, Sara Winters|
|Limnaee of the Lake, Oil, Annie Stegg Gerard|
|The Last of His Kind, Oil, Justin Gerard|
|Kneeling Faery, Watercolor, pencil, color pencil, Brian Froud|
|Faery Woman, Mixed media polymer clay, Wendy Froud|
"Marriage is a Work of Art" will open April 11th and runs through May 2nd. Online catalog goes live April 12th.