OPENING ON MAY 22ND FROM 5-8PM & WILL CONTINUE THROUGH THE SUMMER
TRANQUILITY IN FLIGHT: A MULTISENSORY INSTALLATION
On Saturday, May 22nd, our project, using origami doves, will be completed and can be viewed at the Pharmacy Gallery & Art Space. Beginning in May, Pharmacy members have been orchestrating this event: Diane Schleyhahn, Jason LaBonte and A.J. Fyfe are leading the install of 2000+ white origami paper doves carefully folded by our community from school children to the elderly. At the gallery, we have been collecting the doves and have built metal scaffolding to suspend them from the ceiling which will weave through the air over the studio space, over the artwork and over our community looking up. The Opening Event will include original musical compositions and dance performances to enhance this experience. This breathtakingly beautiful art installation of delicate white doves will begin their group flight on Saturday, May 22nd in harmony, light and peace it will continue through the summer.
The opening for LIFE IN THE ABSTRACT took place on March 5th & 6th from 6-9pm. This exhibit will be on display until June 4th, 2021. We are open Fridays and Saturdays from 12-6pm, Stop in and take in the many wonderful works of art created by our members.
|The Pharmacy Gallery & Art Space is thrilled to begin featuring three artists quarterly. Come visit the gallery to see their featured art display and read the first Featured Artist Interview here of:|
|The current featured Artist is Springfield native Teri Zee. Her main focus when she is working on her art is to make people smile. She wants to express positivity into this world with her gift. It was such a pleasure to spend time talking with Teri.|
How did you first get into making art?
Since I was a child. At age nine, I entered my paper máchê horse into the state fair for my school project and I won a gold ribbon. I have a State Journal Register newspaper article about it in my studio. My picture was taken with Dan Ford and about 16 of my classmates. That was the beginning of my journey, and I knew then I wanted to be an artist. I think that was my fifteen minutes of fame. [she laughs]
What would you say is your art specialty?
My medium? Or just my subject matter?
Okay, I started out with paper máchê and then I started doing colored pencils. I did that for many years. From there, I started doing more 3D, then I did paintings. I really liked doing the paper máchê because it seemed like less of a struggle for me. With the painting, I’m so detail oriented, and it takes too much time right now. Also, not a lot of the artists are doing 3D at the gallery. I wanted to bring another dimension if I can. I plan to focus on that more.
What is your favorite piece of art you’ve made and what did you learn from it?
I enjoy the little animal people that no one’s ever seen before. I like making stuff that’s original. I don’t like to copy anything that’s in nature, even though I do. I’m trying to get more intomaking up things. For example, the last piece I did for the jazz show was a little creature playing the guitar. I never really determined what kind of animal that was. I made it as I liked the look of it. It’s not really a dog. It could be part coatimundi. I enjoy when people think, “What is that?”
It’s an invention? As in creative invention derived from nature?
Yes, I like to put a smile on people’s faces. I don’t like to do art that makes people feel angry or negative feelings. I’m here to make art that people can feel happy about when they look at it. There’s so much bad stuff going on and I want my art to, be a force of good.
Have you ever experienced a block of any kind?
No, I’m really lucky because I have so many interests all across the board. I’ve never really been blocked. To me there’s so much inspiration around. You know, I look to my yard and just the town around me. I’ve been really blessed that I’ve never had any blockage. And I do it every day. I consider it like my “full-time-part-time” job.
That brings me to your creative process, you’re saying you treat it like a job?
Right, at this point I never really wanted to be an artist that sells my own work. I was never a good salesman, so I never wanted to depend on my art for my livelihood. I knew that would be a big mistake for me. I never want to go out and hustle my art. I enjoy having a steady job then I can do my art on the side. When I retire in five years I’m hoping that the universe will bring up some opportunities for me.
When you’re working on a piece of art, is it all done at once. How long does it take you?
Yes, with my little pieces, usually I work on two or three at a time. The layer of paper máchê needs some time to dry and sometimes overnight. Then I’ll work on another piece. The average piece like the one in the gallery now, has maybe four layers of paper máchê. I’ll do the first coating and I’ll add a little bit more details. It usually is about four layers to get to the final stage. I mean, doing the little buttons and putting the hair on etc. It doesn’t take long if I had to sit down and do one piece. I could get it done in about a week. I think maybe 20 hours a piece. They don’t take as long at all, as people think.
What are you working on right now?
I’m actually working on a replacement piece for the bunny at the gallery. A person saw the bunny. However, it had been sold the day before. His wife was a nurse. She recently passed and so I decided to replicate that one for him. And I’m working on a little candy striper to have in the gallery.
A word that seems to show up a lot around creative people is passionate. Do you have to feel passionate about something to get started on it?
I always have something in mind when I get started. I don’t just start making it, and then become passionate. I always have something going. And I’m a Scorpio so I’m very passionate about everything. Even if I do anything like clean the floor, I’m going to make sure it’s the best cleaning I can do. It’s my nature. I just take pride in my work no matter what I do, and it carries over into my art.
How do you approach or think about your audience when you’re working on something, do you do this purely for yourself? Are you thinking of others?
At this point, I do make it for other people. I realized it would be selfish of me to make everything for me. It’s not about me. There’s over 6 billion other people on earth. So even though I’m kind of a loner. I still love people, and I really feel like I want to do for others. I don’t want the to focus on me. I don’t like to be in the limelight, even though I might seem to dress flashy. I have that rooster in my Chinese astrology, which is why I dress like that. [laughs] I let my art to speak for itself. I’m not a people pleaser. I’m kind of the opposite.
Do you think it’s hard today to not be a people pleaser?
Yes, it is a process but you have to remember that you’re responsible for your own soul and your own mental health. And when people need something from you, and you really don’t want to do it. Maybe you feel like it’s sucking the life out of you. You have to learn to put your foot down. I grew up with people pleaser, and so in the past, I was too, I could never say no.It’s been a learned process. It takes a lifetime to grow and, yes, things may never really happen the way you want, but you do the best you can. There’s an old saying that everything you experience is perfect. That’s a really hard concept to comprehend but if you can remember that in times of crisis, you can think, “Well this is supposed to happen, there’s a lesson that I’m learning from this somehow.”
Are you talking about acceptance?
Yes, you don’t want to spend your time, saying, “Oh, I wish that my life would have been.” The next thing you know you’re, 100 years old and you’re still complaining. I think if you want a good life, you’ve got to create the life that you want. It’s not always going to be a successful journey. Sometimes you’re going to have failures, but you have got to create the life that you want.
Do you have anything to say about the times we are going through right now?
Yes, I think we all need to remember that we’re all one. We’re all sparks of God. He created us all at the same time, this is my personal opinion. And some people are really farther away from God than others. So, I think our goal is to all to come together and realize we’re all in the same boat. You know? We all are human.