We recently had the pleasure of visiting December artist Andrew Myers at his studio in Corvallis. His work has been showcased in Art in America, Portlandart.net, and Creative Quarterly. Myers is also part of the viewing program at the Drawing Center in New York. Myers currently teaches drawing at Oregon State University and the OSU/University of New Mexico Rome program in Rome, Italy. Stop by the gallery Thursday, December 5th to see Andrew’s work in person.
Duplex: What inspired this body of work? What is the story behind the Where-Wolf?
Andrew Myers: This piece is inspired by the story of OR-7, a grey wolf that traveled from NE Oregon across the state to S. Oregon and into N. California. He went in search of a mate to start his own pack. Wolves have not been spotted west of the Cascades in over 80 years. This story of futility and hope was very interesting to me and being from NE Oregon myself and now in western Oregon I felt a lot of connections. Still being single at my age with most of my friends married and having families made me think about OR-7’s story even more and led me to explore ideas of “home” and “place” and what they mean. I’ve always had a great love for animals and wildlife and stories of exploration.
D: How does your teaching schedule affect your art making?
AM: Depends on the term and the work load but I do find time in between teaching for studio work. Teaching art can be quite inspiring but also draining. Approaching studio work just like another job is the best way for me to stay productive. Its hard work. D: What work or anything else inspires you?
AM: I’m very inspired by a lot of sculptural work. I think that’s why my drawings have a more sculptural, constructed feel to them. Drawing is definitely my focus and printmaking has been a large part of my studio practice in the last few years. William Kentridge, Rick Bartow, Jim Dine, Swoon, Egon Schiele, Susan Rothenberg, and Leonard Baskin are some of the artists that have been inspirations. I also find movie makers, writers, and musicians to be influences in my work. Having grown up in North Eastern Oregon and having a wildlife biologist as one of my parents, science and nature are also big inspirations for me.
D: Tell us about your art making process, a lot of your work seems to carry a visual history with it.
AM: I work in a modular style that allows my drawings to grow and change through out the process. I use multiple drawing surfaces and the construction definitely becomes part of the drawing process. I find the bits and pieces of drawing surfaces, usually paper, become much more interesting as they age and gather a history. As they are moved from place to place and from studio to studio they attain a “patina” that adds layers of interest that I would not be able to create. I have parts of drawings that I have had for years that have not quite made the cut into a finished piece and when they do its pretty exciting. The physical work, problem solving and mark making are all vital elements to my studio process.
D: You were a recent artist at Caldera, what was that like?
AM: Caldera is an amazing place! The people were great and the place was so inspiring for me. I was lucky enough to be included in a special residency that was funded by the Ford Family Foundation Golden Spot Award and included four other visual artists. A lot of collaboration took place and the time and space that it allowed me influenced my work in very lasting ways.
D: What upcoming projects are you working on?
AM: I have a drawing installation that will be at Willamette University in Salem starting in January that will be another in the Where-Wolf series. It’s a nice big wall space, about 60 feet long, so I’m looking forward to working on that one.