Creative Spaces: The Western New York Artist Studio Project hit stores this week, and it was written by Villa’s adjunct professor Richard Christian.
Inspired by a coffee table book spotted in New Orleans, Creative Spaces showcases the studios of 15 Western New York artists. The photos, which were taken by local photographer Steve Siegel, are paired with an interview with the artist and an essay written by each artist describing the relationship between their space and their work.
Christian, who teaches Drawing II and 2D Design at Villa, spoke with all 15 artists featured in the book. He most enjoyed writing the chapter on Elizabeth Leader, who describes herself as an environmental artist with an eye for urban decay. According to Christian, Ms. Leader’s forages areas of urban blight to find objects that are included into assemblages and mixed media pieces that deal with disparity and the haves versus the have-nots.
Another memorable chapter was Renee Brown’s. Brown, who had 20% of her brain compromised in a car accident in the year 2000, has lucid/precognitive dreams that have informed much of her work. Brown’s work space was equally as interesting as her studio is in her home, resulting in her working space being fully integrated into her living space.
Overall, Christian says the biggest takeaway from the interview experience was that each artist has their own way of speaking and describing both their studio and their work. He noted that artists organized their space before the shoot but did not clean.
Creative Spaces: The Western New York Artist Studio Project was published by RPSS Publishing and is available for purchase at several small bookstores throughout WNY, including Villa’s bookstore, the bookstore at Burchfield Penney Art Center, Canvas Salon and Gallery in Clarence and Petals to Please in Lancaster.
The book features the following artists:
- Rita Argen Auerbach
- Gary L. Wolfe
- Dorothy Fitzgerald
- Fotini Galanes
- Carol Case Siracuse
- Adam Zyglis
- Elizabeth Leader
- Charles Burchfield
- A.J. Fries
- Paula Sciuk
- Renee Brown
- Robert Harris
- William C. Maggio
- Bruce Adams
- Richard Huntington
About the Author
Richard Christian was born and raised in Buffalo, NY, where he earned his BFA in Painting from Buffalo State College in 1991, prior to moving to Long Island where he received his MFA in Painting and Drawing from the C.W. Post campus of Long Island University in 1996. While residing on Long Island, Mr. Christian exhibited his artwork in the Hamptons, where he also worked in art sales and as a Gallery Manager.
Mr. Christian has and continues to work for museums and Art Conservators in private practice, as an Art Conservation Technician, Museum Artist and Archival Exhibits Designer, in and around the Rochester area as well as an Adjunct Professor at Rochester Institute of Technology, Daemen College, Medaille College and Villa Maria College in Rochester and Buffalo, respectively. Mr. Christian has taught and designed curricula for studio art, art history, fashion design and museum management classes. He has exhibited in galleries and juried exhibitions throughout Western New York and Long Island. He was the 2013 and 2014 President of the Buffalo Society of Artists, has juried and curated several exhibitions and judged multiple fashion shows throughout Western New York. His work can be found in private collections internationally and in the United States.