Jen Walls at Hatch1121 before we sat down for our interview
Last night was the third installment of 'Artists at the Gallery Getting Coffee' interview series at HATCH1121. My interview was with the amazing mixed media artist, Jen Jovan Walls from Plantation Florida. It was a really great conversation framed in a discussion of being an artist that was applicable to everyone in the audience. Jen's message was about recapturing and retaining the wonder of how we felt as children before we learned how to become adults. If the interview were a movie I'd have the Malvina Reynolds song 'Little Boxes' playing at the fade out of the interview to hammer home the reminder. The interview clocks in at one hour and 15 minutes which felt like ten minutes to me. Jen found her calling to be an artist at 47 after having a grownup job in banking. She has found her calling painting beautiful, mysterious, whimsical creatures full of mischief and malarkey. Jen's work is authentic and comes from a real place inside of her. She allows viewers to see and share in her vulnerability and they connect with her and her work. She sold nearly 200 pieces of art this past year and has a collaborative book called the Storyteller's Apprentice due out in September. It was a really great conversation and I will have the podcast of this interview uploaded on Thursday 7/19 for you to listen to. I'm sure you will find it interesting and Jen's message will be inspiring for artists and non artists alike. During the interview Jen mentioned several author's to read and artists to look at. I will post those here tomorrow with the link to the podcast.
Having given birth to IAMLAKEWORTH with this exhibit which had a gestation period only an elephant could appreciate. It has been super satisfying for it to be so well received and equally awe inspiring to think of the future possibilities for the show and the doors opened for me personally after allowing myself to put this project out into the world. I am seeing a spark turn to an ember and now a glowing flame with so many possibilities before it. In the future when I look back at the whole thing it may turn out that the interview series which was added as a way to keep the enthusiasm for the exhibit going and draw more people to see the show on weeknights maybe my favorite part. I have shared with Lake Worth some of my favorite artists I have met right here while I have been working on the project. Together with Blanche Williams who took the hosting duties so I could be one of the four photographers in the photo roundtable. we have enjoyed great conversations about art, life and Lake Worth. I think maybe this world needs more good conversations. I have some ideas about that, but it can wait for tomorrow's post.
Meanwhile many thanks are owed to the sponsors of IAMLAKEWORTH who are the Lake Worth CRA and LULA Lake Worth Arts and to Common Grounds for enthusiastically sponsoring the Artists at the Gallery Getting Coffee interviews. I could not have done this show without you and your belief in what I was trying to do. I look forward to what we do next. I also must say a special thanks to everyone who had their photos taken and gave me their thoughts on what makes Lake Worth such a special place. This project is really all about you.