Kettering’s Cultural Arts Program Supervisor, Andy Dailey, has a solo exhibition, Drawn Through, currently on view at Rosewood Gallery. Here, he talks inspiration, artistic practice, and balancing life and artmaking.
How has working at Rosewood inspired your work as an artist?
I think working at Rosewood has inspired my work as an artist in a number of ways. Primarily, being in a community art setting has helped to breathe the joy back into the process of making art. I spent a number of years working in higher education, a field in which I felt a very particular type of pressure in regard to making work. It was almost as if I was making art for the academic system and no longer making the art I wanted to make because I wanted to make it. I can’t speak for everyone, obviously, but I found those conditions very difficult to navigate at times and had my worst artmaking droughts while I was teaching college classes. Even though I loved teaching, moving away from that atmosphere made it much easier to engage in artmaking.
Are you working on any projects right now? Are they similar to the artwork in Drawn Through?
I pushed it to “the wire” with Drawn Through and was finishing up drawings the week the exhibition was installed. Due to that, I haven’t really moved on to my next project yet. However, I am very interested to create more wall drawings, similar to Eidolon. I think I will dedicate some time to making that happen somewhere again soon.
What aspect of creating artwork do you find the most challenging? And the most rewarding?
There are so many challenging aspects; it’s hard to narrow it down. If I’m being completely honest, I think battling the self-doubt before starting new artwork is the most challenging. It’s so easy to talk yourself out of a new idea before it’s happened. That often leads to periods of inactivity. When I figure out how to get over that hump, I’m always more productive. Coming in a very close second is finding the time to make artwork. Working full time, raising two children and just trying to have a small life outside of those things in general offers up stiff competition for my time. It takes pretty strict regimented discipline to make the time. Despite all of the numerous other things going on, I’ve managed to stay reasonably busy with my creative practice somehow.
Just keeping with it and continuing to make artwork is rewarding. I know so many people who studied art in college who just quit making art. Many of them have had completely valid reasons for doing so, but I just never wanted to be part of that statistic, so being able to make that claim feels great.
And your work at Rosewood – what’s your favorite part of the job? The most difficult?
The most difficult part seems to be raising awareness and visibility for Rosewood Arts Centre. Letting community members know that we exist and how much we have to offer has been a persistent challenge.
My favorite part of my job is creating opportunity. In my role, I have the ability to create opportunities for the local arts community; opportunities for artist teachers to share their skills and knowledge; opportunities for students to learn and continue to grow their abilities; and opportunities for those who are not familiar with art to engage in it. Knowing all of that really keeps me going.
Drawn Through is on view through November 17 in Rosewood Gallery. An opening reception will be held Thursday, October 19, 6 – 8pm. Both the reception and exhibition are free and open to the public. The exhibition is available to view anytime during Rosewood business hours.