This month, the MHCC Fireplace Gallery presents the work of David Wilson, a Salem artist. Wilson taught for 15 years as a professor of art; now, he is the gallery director for Bush Barn Art Center in Salem.
The Advocate asked Wilson about his work and his art.
How is the Gallery Director life treating you? Are there some good days, bad days?
“This is a fantastic job, in which my job is 100 percent art each day. It is unlike any other career I’ve had,” Wilson said with a chuckle. “It’s completely about presenting artists, collaborating with artists, as well as coordinating with artists and it’s a rewarding job.”
Would you mind elaborating how you create a new piece of art?
“Each artist has their own method for working. And mine, I guess… might be a little unorthodox, where you know each day I’ll be creating a sketch or jotting down ideas and then working in that method while I’m working in either the gallery job or while I was a professor of art. You know those types of careers kind of occupy most of your time, and then your art-making time fits in around it.”
It takes Wilson about a month or two to make small art pieces, he said. It takes a week to gather all of the supplies he needs to get started.
One piece stands out in the Mt. Hood exhibit: “Once the Wagon Broke, the Easterners Saw No Romance in the West.” Can you tell me a little bit about this piece, and where your inspiration came from?
“Well, my inspiration comes from appreciating and being just an outright fan of classic movies. And I also love the creativity of some of the early silent movie stars and the artistry of their own work. The visual part of the pieces have a major influence from classic movie posters that are designed.”
Do you have any advice for young artists?
“Yes, one is to embrace any opportunity to show your work when you can, because exhibiting your work is the most important form of validation for yourself as an artist, whether it’s in a community show, a coffee house show, a professional gallery or whatever it should be. Always take the opportunity up and then figure out how you’re going to make it work, later.”
Wilson’s art is available to visitors 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Thursday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday, through April 27.