Special Edition Q & A: Dolan Geiman at Bayou City Art Festival

Submitted by STintern1 on Tue, Mar 22nd at 6:36 pm

 

Hi Culture 365 members and Spacetaker visitors. Today Spacetaker has the honor of presenting a special edition Q & A with this spring’s Bayou City Art Festival featured artist Dolan Geiman. The Bayou City Art Festival has selected Virginia-based artist Dolan Geiman as the Featured Artist for the 40th Annual Capital One Bank Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park, which takes place March 25 – 27 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Geiman is a nationally recognized mixed media artist creating original paintings, collages, constructions, and limited-edition reproductions. Produced from salvaged wood, found objects, and other recycled materials, Geiman’s eco-friendly artwork emerges from a folk art tradition infused with a contemporary, urban style. Popular and recurring motifs in Geiman’s artwork include birds, woodland creatures, music, and Americana, creating an artwork that introduces a modern aesthetic while remaining true to its rustic roots. All this information and much more can be found on the Bayou City Art Festival website.

 

Geiman shares with us some of his experiences and knowledge in this week’s special edition Q & A. 

 

Q

You’ve said before that you aren’t a folk artist, but an “American Ruralist.”  What do you mean by that characterization?

 

 

A

The American Ruralist is a moniker I use when people try to pigeonhole me and slap an art world term on me. I disbelieve the idea of the folk artist, someone who is mentally incapacitated and stuck in a cabin in the woods, removed from society and drunk on moonshine. While this creates a sensationalized vision of an Appalachian mountain man who might make some art, its place is lost in today’s technologically choked society. So, if labels must be used, as descriptors only, I prefer the term ruralist. A ruralist is someone who has roots in rural America, which are strong, and deep and who often tap into those roots for inspiration and guidance, such as one might consult the Bible.  

 

Q

Approximately 90% of materials used to create your original pieces are recycled and/or obtained from materials destined for a landfill, how did you come across this artistic process?

 

A

First it was a necessity and then by choice. When I was growing up the stuff that we were allowed to play with was all the discarded wood, old tractor parts, and yard trash. So I developed an affinity for these objects and came to be familiar with their ways and whereabouts, i.e. if I wanted an old tire to make a rope swing, I knew I could look at the old machine shop. If I wanted a pile of horseshoes for sculpture, I could go out to the barn and dig in the back of the stalls.  I compare this type of collecting to someone shopping with coupons. You prepare yourself with practice and train your eye to look for the deal, or in my case, the discarded.

 

Q

Have you received professional training for this method?

 

A

The best training I received was from my mother. She would point out various forms and colors in nature and make sure I examined them in detail.  It was from her that I learned the true color of shadows. If you want to be a great artist, do not expect to find yourself by attending college. Learn to examine yourself and rely on your own creativity and be aggressive in your creative desires. 

 

 

Q

If you have a creative block, what would you say inspires you most?

 

A

As the great writer Edward Abbey once said, “Wilderness is not a luxury but a necessity of the human spirit.”  Any time spent in the wildest of places brings me back to myself and any blocks I have creatively will surely be crushed to sand after a few days away from a cell phone.

 

Q

You are very involved in the art festival community around the country, why do you prefer to show your work at festivals as opposed to galleries?

 

A

Galleries do one thing that I find disagreeable: they alienate a large portion of their audience just by being galleries. I never visited a gallery until I was 21 and even then I thought it was awkward and sterile. Call me old fashioned but I like to talk to real people and shake someone’s hand and actually meet the person who is buying my work. And it’s nice to be outside.

 

Q

You are the featured artist this weekend at Bayou City Art Festival Memorial Park.  What are you looking forward to most?

 

A

I am looking forward to being in that beautiful park and knowing I can relax and just do my job, which is selling art to happy people. This show is organized and professional and I know I can just show up and get in my groove and not have to worry about a thing.

 

Q

What can festivalgoer’s expect from your art at this year’s Bayou City Art Festival?

 

 

A

I’ve been working like a mad scientist for months trying to turn all of these ideas in my head into real art pieces. I have a veritable platter full of fresh artwork that no one else has seen yet this year. Since this is our first show of the season, a lot of these pieces will be debuting at this show. I’ve been working with new themes this year, moving into the realm of nature more deeply, and also trying to have a more diverse range of sizes for folks. So, really, I have a ton of great new stuff just for this show and I think people will just have to come check it out and let me know what they think. 

 

 

 

 

To learn more about Dolan Geiman, make sure to check out his website. I want to thank Dolan for taking time out of his busy schedule to answer these questions. And thank you for reading. Don’t forget to go to the upcoming Bayou City Art Festival, which takes place March 25 – 27 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. See you next week. 

 

 

 

 

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