Interview by Tara Sasiadek:
The Buffalo Expat Network, the Emerging Leaders in the Arts and HandsOn Greater Buffalo are pleased to present the echo:
Art Fair which connects experienced collectors and first-time buyers
with emerging local, regional and international artists in a centralized
and creative environment; the Buffalo Central Terminal. echo:
Art Fair will showcase a broad scope of fine art disciplines, including
painting, photography, sculpture, print, works on paper, video and
combined-media. echo will commence with a VIP Reception on July 8th, 2011. On July 9th, the echo:
Art Fair will run from 9:30am until 5:30pm. The After-echo party, also
to be held in the Terminal, will take place shortly after the ending of
the fair featuring live music from The Albrights, Alex Kelly, and will
wrap up with a dance party featuring DJ Cutler and AVDJ PROJEX. Here is the next in a series of Buffalo Rising interviews with one of our featured artists, Gerald Mead:
Who are you, and what do you do?
Gerald Mead: I wear a few different hats – independent curator, collector, art writer, and educator – and my own artwork is small-scale collage and assemblage constructed of photographic material and found objects.
What are the most essential elements of your work?
Combining fragments of images and materials in unexpected ways to create interesting visual metaphors. Recent collages have focused on series of works that were created from collections of archival material.
If you had to choose only 5 materials or tools to work with, what would they be?
Old photographs, exacto blade, glue, mat board and a metal ruler
Would you describe your artistic education as a guided or self guided journey?
A combination of both – my undergraduate study in Design gave me the tools to develop the structure of my work and graduate study in Visual Studies was invaluable in refining my work and understanding more clearly the overarching concepts that had been reoccurring in the individual pieces over the years. I guess you could say that the “self-guided” aspect is how, over time, I’ve developed my own unique vocabulary of material manipulation and mark-making.
Do you have a connection to Buffalo?
Born in Hamburg, NY, grew up in the Boston Hills and have lived in the city of Buffalo for over 25 years.
Is there a Buffalo landmark or meal you plan to visit or have while here?
As a native Buffalonian, one place that I think is essential to visit is Kleinhans Music Hall – its textures, lines and combination of shapes (both inside and out) make it stunning ” architectural sculpture”.
How do you define success as an artist?
I think that definitions of success as an artist vary when you consider personal versus professional goals. With that in mind, having your artwork acquired for museum collections and a solo retrospective of your work at a museum would generally be considered significant professional career milestones for an artist.
Can you share with a us a harrowing tale of an artistic disaster?
At one point I assumed I lost one of my artworks – had no clue where I left it. About a year later, a teacher whose classroom I had visited called me. She was retiring and found one of my artworks when she was cleaning out her classroom.
Do you have a set schedule for studio time? How do you structure your creative life?
Not really a set time that I work. I am most productive in the evening and work more rigorously when I am creating a new body of work for an upcoming exhibition. For me it is also important have a separate space to create work.
Can you tell us about where you find resources or inspiration for your work?
Resources: just about everywhere from ephemera to textbooks and thrift stores to estate sales. Inspiration: from traveling, seeing architecture and researching a subject or topic that I am unfamiliar with.
What quote or mantra or words of wisdom do you have for other creative types?
The simplest (and best) advice I was ever given was that the only way to improve as an artist is to just keep working. To both artists and arts professionals, I would advise them to be generous with their time and talent since sharing knowledge and resources benefits everyone.
Where can we find more of your work?
There are images and information on work on the Artists in Buffalo website:
and the website for Exhibit-A, a gallery in Corning, NY that represents my work:
For full details on echo: Art Fair, visit the site at www.echoArtFair.com, or find us on Facebook.