Today’s conversation is a first. In this episode of The Art Biz I talk with Rebecca Welz, an artist who claims she’s not all that interested in the art business. But Rebecca, with her many accomplishments, still had plenty of wisdom to share. Our discussion centers around how she sees her art as part of the continuum, and how she encourages her students at Pratt Institute to think holistically about their careers. We discuss meditation, biomimicry, her projects in Guyana and Guatemala with her students, why she’s uninterested in the art business, and what she thinks artists would benefit from focusing on instead.
“It’s like drawing in space.” Rebecca’s sculpture and gallery representation. (2:44)
Teaching art students and exploring the unknown through meditation. (6:22)
Thinking is the most important part of the creative process. (11:15)
Finding art inspiration in Guyana and Guatemala. (17:04)
Biomimicry—innovation inspired by nature. (22:10)
The importance of experiencing inspiration from cultures outside your own. (25:35)
Taking a holistic approach to your art. (31:13)
Rebecca isn’t all that interested in the art business. Here’s why. (36:24)
This Week’s Assignment
Consider how your work is connected to forces outside itself. How is it connected to art history and to other artists? Think of all the people who make your art possible. Who made your supplies? Not the companies, but the people behind the companies. Who gathered natural pigments or precious metals? Who mixed the paints, spun the yarn, stretched the canvas, stocked the paper, or assembled the camera?
Who are the people supporting your efforts?
“Meditation gives me a lot of peace and equanimity and helps me deal with being a human on the planet.” — Rebecca Welz
“Good artwork comes from that place of the unknown.” — Rebecca Welz
“I can’t just focus on my art career because there are so many other things that I’m interested in.” — Rebecca Welz
“How are you tapping into your own continuum and how’s that working for you?” — Rebecca Welz
About My Guest
Rebecca Welz makes steel sculptures inspired by natural wonders and ecological processes that combine to give us biodiversity. She is represented by June Kelly Gallery in New York City, where she has had numerous solo exhibitions. She has also shown at Grace Borgenicht Gallery and Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, also in New York.
Rebecca’s sculptures have been in solo and group exhibitions in venues such as the Oakland Museum of California, the Heckscher Museum of Art (Huntington, NY), Butters Gallery (Portland, OR), the SciArt Center (Easton, PA), the Cherrystone Gallery (Wellfleet, MA), and Sculpturesite Gallery (San Francisco, CA). Her work can also be found in private and corporate collections, including those of Goldman Sachs, Pfizer, Merck, Prudential Life Insurance Corporation, and Sabre Corporation.