Artist Tammy Jo Wilson stops by to tell us about her artwork, our common experience of corporeal fleshiness, and how Encaustics (an ancient painting technique using hot wax and pigment) perfectly mirrors the luminosity of skin. Wilson also talks about her role as Co-Founder and President of Art in Oregon, an ambitious non-profit with the goal of building and sustaining art patronage through pride in Oregon artists and pride in art ownership. She also tells about her superpowers, speaks to the importance of collecting art, and describes her show currently on view in Newberg.
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 0:00
Are our brains warm?
Kendra Larson (KJL) 0:02
My brain is warm
Ashley Larson (AL) 0:11
Welcome to Art Gab. I’m Ashley.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 0:12
And I’m Kendra and today we have Tammy Joe Wilson with us. Tammy Jo Wilson is a visual artist working in painting and photography from her studio in Oregon City, Oregon. She earned her MFA in art photography at the San Jose State University in California, and BFA in photography from the Pacific Northwest College Park. In 2017, she was the recipient of the Leland Ironworks golden spot Artist in Residence supported by Ford Family Foundation. Ever active in the Portland arts community, Wilson has volunteered with rack, ritual arts and culture Council and Oregon Women’s Caucus for art. She is also the co founder and president of art in Oregon, a nonprofit with the goal of building sustaining art patronage through pride and Oregon artists and pride and art ownership. work has been exhibited all over the country including at the nine five gallery in New York, and the San Jose Museum of Art in San Jose, California, or exhibition biological dissonance with Amanda triplet is currently on view at the show halen Cultural Center in Newburgh, Oregon. Tammy Joe, welcome. Welcome to Art Gab!
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 1:26
Alright, thanks for having me.
Ashley Larson (AL) 1:28
Yeah, how’s your guys weekend?
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 1:30
pretty mellow. I would say an average weekend, average weekend I did my my run. I do a long run every week in which I look forward to just spending time outside and I always take a moment to notice something interesting or beautiful while I’m out there. Because it’s kind of like my meditative practice. And yesterday I got to see three new tree I think they’re called new chair. They’re like half beaver half possum. That was like my moment my takeaway from my outside time yesterday. They were just telling us eating it was very beautiful. And I got way too hot.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 2:01
That’s great! I mean, not that you’re hot. But that’s awesome to see wildlife.
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 2:04
No. I love getting hot. It’s okay.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 2:08
I g ot way too hot this weekend. Yeah, it’s crazy. Um, where do you run by the way?
Unknown Speaker 2:13
Well, I live in Oregon City. So I always start from my house and then just go out. I’ll usually go along the Willamette River. There’s some you know, trolley trails and everything along there. And wetlands. It’s really beautiful.
Ashley Larson (AL) 2:25
Yeah, I like running for that. I feel like you see something new? Yeah. Yeah, I went to the art fair in Salem.
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 2:33
Yeah, I didn’t know that was happening this weekend. I’m sad that I’m missing it
Ashley Larson (AL) 2:37
going on today. So you can still make it. But I mean that it’s the 70th year. And it’s also the hundred year anniversary of the Salem Art Association.
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 2:47
Wow. Very cool. That’s very cool. Yeah, I just ventured down to Salem to experience their art just recently, having not really gone to Salem to view for art practice, or viewing, which I don’t really know why because it’s not far away. And I did see that their festival is coming up. So I’m sad that I’m missing it. But next year, next year, I’m excited to go to the Seattle art fair, which I’ve never been to. So that’s coming up August 1 to the fourth. That’d be so if you missed the Salem fair, you can go experience that one. Totally. How was the Salem our fair?
Ashley Larson (AL) 3:18
It was good. I mean, most of the artists are a lot of Portland. Salem, California. So like pretty close by artists. But it was fun. There’s glass, ceramics, metal, just a little bit of everything.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 3:32
Yeah. I’ve never been to Seattle Art Fair. But I assume that it’s less it’s more art and less fair. And then art fairs. Yeah. It feels more like fair. It’s outside. There’s
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 3:43
Yeah, it’s a Yeah, it’s a different kind of, it’s more like the arts and crafts, artisans and artists, as well as call artists and artisans. You know, the functional art that is equally as beautiful and significant and important. But yeah, no, the Seattle are Ferris, like all art galleries. Yeah. So that’ll be a whole different type of experience. But hopefully, it’ll be good inspiration.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 4:02
And the Salem Art Fair has music and food. Yeah. And I remember in high school, I had painted faces. You remember doing that?
Ashley Larson (AL) 4:10
Before we could get jobs like I painted faces. I helped with the kids parade. It was just fun experience for college or high school age to get work experience. So yeah.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 4:22
And that’s so that’s awesome. You guys had a great weekend. Ours was a little slower. We just hung out in the backyard. Picked blueberries and went to Por Que No last week with Oliver. That was pretty fun. Good place. You gotta try it. The headshot of there is amazing. It’s really wonderful. And then Christopher and I are working on it installation for September out at Pacific University. So
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 4:49
Oh, that’s exciting. Yeah. What is the installation? what’s what’s the nature of this installation?
Kendra Larson (KJL) 4:56
Well, basically kind of taking – Edie keeps hitting her head on the table…
basically making a painting into a three dimensional space.
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 5:06
And Oh, nice. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 5:08
And Christopher is handling. He’s doing some lights and sound and I’m doing the kind of the murals and then we’re working with a scientist called cosmologist. Not a, not a cosmetics..
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 5:24
Ashley Larson (AL) 5:28
And then we’re getting our hair and makeup done. /s
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 5:32
Yeah, so it’s one of your paintings. Is that one that that I would know? are you saving this painting specifically? Like unveiling it?
Kendra Larson (KJL) 5:39
We’re still experimenting. Yeah, it’s actually kind of nerve wracking. Yeah, I never done it. But it’s gonna be super cool. Yeah, the most important thing is that it’s super cool. That’s the most important thing-
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 5:52
it sounds super fun. I’m jealous. I would love to try that someday with one of my paintings to like, turn it into, like a space that you can enter.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 6:01
Right? I mean, we actually went to Enchanted Forest last weekend. And it’s I’m realizing that a lot of my aesthetic is inspired by that. The weird, the lighting the animatronics, the slightly creepy,
Ashley Larson (AL) 6:13
like you might have to be on mushrooms?
Kendra Larson (KJL) 6:17
basically. So all the college kids- gonna take mushrooms.
And speaking of cool art, do you want to tell us about your, your practice and your art?
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 6:27
I’m going to describe how I’m working right now, because my work has evolved. Over the years, I might go into a little bit of that evolution. But I’ll start with where I am right now and maybe work my way backwards. So currently, I’m really into in caustic painting, which for your listeners, and caustic is a combination of hot wax, usually beeswax mixed with a tree resin, and then you mix that with a powdered pigment. And then you heat up a new paint with that material and do dead on a solid, like would surface because it’s wax, you know, needs a solid surface. And so that I also will incorporate ceramic elements into that. So I’ll have a panel on Mount a dimensional ceramic piece. So the imposter painting comes out of the surface. Another thing I like to do is carve into the lack of itself. And then you can fill. So it’s a really unique painting material. And then drawing you can do oil pastels on top of the wax, they’re very compatible materials that like each other. And the wax is this really transparent quality to it because it’s waxes really dense. And you build up these layers that are translucent, and you can see through underneath things floated it. I’ve done pieces where I’ve incorporated, I did one were incorporated cocoa powder into the wax, I was thinking, well, if I’m using these powdered pigments, what other things can I put in this wax to make to make it more interesting, something that’s more relevant to my concept, not just the powdered pavement. So I did one with cocoa powder, I’ve done some with makeup, because I was like, Oh, that’s a cool powdered thing, maybe not very archival, because it’s not what it meant for. But whatever I’m not thinking about that I’m making the work. But if I embedded in the wax, I’m hoping, you know, it seems to be doing well are privately speaking. So using that makeup. So to further my concept. And I got most of my visual inspiration, my aesthetic is very much from the body. So I pull from body colors. So think of varying flesh tones. When I say varying, obviously, because everybody’s got so many different colors within our body, everything from browns, to pinks, to reds, the yellows, to blues, but that really had a visceral body fleshy colors. And then as a dark skinned person, myself, I try to really pull in that color palette as well. And so then I also reference the body in the shapes themselves. So it’s not mechanical, it’s not hard edged. It has a very round, very organic, very kind of visceral illness to it, of referencing hair and bones and skin. But those references can sometimes go into, like the natural world to like the veins, and the hair might also bridge into branches, or trees or roots. So there’s that overlap, that aesthetic overlap of connecting kind of the human experience with the natural world experience, as well. And how those things in nature can kind of mimic each other in our world –
Kendra Larson (KJL) 9:37
Like growth and decay?
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 9:39
Yes, exactly. A lot of reference to disease, and some of the things that happen with our body, that it’s just kind of natural, but it’s not necessarily very enjoyable for us that have to go through it and how is our body ages and changes and things happen to it. Our bodies are altered in ways that we can’t control and we have to deal with in one way or another. And it can be very frustrating. And yeah, so there’s a lot of references of that. So that was in the in caustic specifically also work with ink on paper and watercolor and paper. And I started working that way after my experience with this arts performance that a theater person invited me to she is a theatre performer and a dancer. And she was doing a performance as part of the salt collaborative performance that happened last year here in Portland. And she asked me to draw and make art while she was doing a spoken word piece. And a dancer was dancing in response to that spoken word piece. So I was responding making visual art to the dancer and to the spoken word happening and the dancer was literally really opened my face. And I had to make work within 15 minutes while people were watching me. And I was like, Oh my gosh, I don’t I don’t, I’ve never worked this way. I have no idea. I tried it do this. Well, I kind of practice a little bit as I how do I make work in 15 minutes that’s interesting and meaningful. But that really has become an important part of my work now. And so I’ve been doing a lot of more drawing and gum paper. And I’ve brought the figure back into my work. And this last year, since that has happened, which is new for me. But I think it was really that experience of the salt had to do with the me to movement and the female body in that type of things and telling our stories about that. And so hearing those stories, having the dancer right in front of me while I was making the work and having that inspiration of the body movement has really given me a new direction. So now I express that through fat, faster drawings that I do of figures, which has been really rewarding for me too. Because I don’t know about you, but I was super busy life. And so I found I could do drawings in my car. I could do drawings in a 15 minute lunch break, I could you join sitting in the coffee shop waiting for something to happen. And so having that addition to my art project, this has been super helpful. Yeah, super, super helpful. And it reference it brings that solid reference back to the body. So that’s kind of where I’m at right now. My Foundation, like you said in my my bio is photography. That’s where I started. But even when I was doing photography, I was building sets, not necessarily capturing moments, I was building my own moment. So it was almost like I was making a painting and then photographing it. It was just kind of always kind of how I worked. Usually related to the body or human experience with our larger culture in some way. Yeah,
Ashley Larson (AL) 12:37
yeah. I like that. I like to like the wax thing. Like I wouldn’t do an experiment that way. I’ve never, I didn’t know wax was a medium that people used to like paint with. And that’s Yeah,
Kendra Larson (KJL) 12:49
it is the oldest kind of paint.
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 12:51
It is. It’s a super old process. Yeah.
Ashley Larson (AL) 12:54
Very cool. Like I’ve probably seen it but it’s neat to hear the process and the pigments in trying Cocoa and all that stuff
Kendra Larson (KJL) 13:03
If you if you look it up online, they have these um, if you look it up online, they have like, Egyptian death masks. apparent Egyptian No, Greek. Oh, I don’t know. Well, Christopher will look it up and make me sound smart. But basically you painting your own mask, and then they put it on your grave.
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 13:24
Yeah, like cool. Yeah, a lot of old portraiture, you can see done in in caustic, it does a really, really nice reference to to the flesh and to skin because skin has all these layers of transparency. And all the colors within the layers, you know, our pink that’s underneath, you know more than yellow, and then the blood flowing through underneath. And you can really create that with the caustic. You can start with those base layers with the veins in the blue and you can add the pink and then you add the skin layer on top. And you probably seen in caustic paintings and didn’t know the next time you’re out looking at art. And you see this painting, you’re like, there’s this crazy, like luminous depth that is not an oil painting. What is this?
Ashley Larson (AL) 14:04
Yeah, that’s really cool. You know,
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 14:05
if it looks thick and transparent, it’s probably an caustic painting. And if it’s kind of lumpy and textured,
Ashley Larson (AL) 14:11
I’m gonna like notice that everywhere now.
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 14:14
You’re gonna see it all the time. Yes,
Kendra Larson (KJL) 14:16
well, and then there’s like cold wax medium, and you see people use and paintings. It’s like 10 above just a material that you can mix with your
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 14:23
one thing. Yeah, yeah. So it’s like BS. It’s like beeswax, it’s a refined beeswax. And then you can mix it with oil paint or use it as a process on top of oil paint. You can also use it within caustic, but I love callbacks. I’m looking forward to playing with more, but I haven’t used it much, but it’s very cool.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 14:38
Yeah. And I like what you said about the material adding in like makeup and cocoa and, and even just the even the ceramics will probably Yeah, these will probably all fall apart. But that seems important. Like the ephemeral quality, right? Because you’re talking about the body and it’s worse.
Ashley Larson (AL) 14:53
Yeah, it kind of goes along with that whole. Yeah, background story. Yeah. Why do you do what you do? And what are your professional goals?
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 15:02
Why do I do it? Well, I do a lot of things. Why do I make art I don’t know, I make art because I have to because it’s just, you know, I have these things inside of me. I think of art as a language. And I need to express myself, I have things to say that can’t be said. And words are you know, that’s not how I choose to communicate. I am not a writer. I’m not a poet. So I do it with my art. I feel like I’m one of those artists that has been doing it since I was able to ask my parents for the art supplies to do it. So I yeah, I make art because I have to express myself in get that out.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 15:46
I feel like when people ask me what, why did I choose to be an artist? i? I can’t help it think Well, I didn’t choose? Yeah, it kind of chose me. Yeah, I can’t imagine myself doing anything else.
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 15:57
I feel like you can choose not to be an artist because some people force themselves to like, push down that part of them. Or they feel like their family or their life or society or culture doesn’t allow them to do that, which I think is very sad. But I think artists in general that do my work aren’t doing it because they’re choosing they’re doing it because it’s their calling, it’s what they need to do. You know? Yeah.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 16:22
I’m kind of jumping around that kind of leads to this other question I had was, what role do you think the artist has in society? Like, what? Why? You know, why is it important that the world has artists,
Unknown Speaker 16:34
I think it’s important to have art because art can say things in ways that nothing else can. And it is a way to express things without words that words just don’t do enough. And to reach down and express the human experience in a way that nothing else can. And I think some of the more important examples of that, when we look at times of repression, political art, things like that, when humans are, you know, oppressing, or repressing or just being when things need to be said, When change needs to happen, when there needs to be acknowledgement of the wrong directions that people have gone. I think art can do a really good, it can be a really good tool for that. I think our can also express things that we need to say, just in general of our shared human experience that need to be out there and talked about and share it and recognize that we are all kind of going through similar things together. And I don’t think there’s any other I think it’s critical for people to communicate in that visual way. Yeah, and I think it’s always benefit even go back to the cave paintings. I think they were doing drawings to communicate things that they had no words, or no other way of expressing. So they made a visual of like, this is what I’m experiencing. Are you experiencing this to Oh, my gosh, look at what we’re doing, you know, yeah.
Ashley Larson (AL) 18:00
And it’s like universal and means we don’t all speak the same language, but like, everyone can tap into.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 18:06
That totally reminds me of something I’ve been thinking about lately. Um, this is just a little soapbox, side note here. But in all my classes, I feel like I’m required to have my students right now their work and talk about their artwork. But when was the last time a philosophy class required a student to draw it to accompany one of their papers with a drawing right or, or business class accompany a lecture with a drawing like we need to an art form of communication. And I think that that’s, I think art would probably have more respect if if it was treated that way, right?
Anyway, that’s my side note.
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 18:52
I do have to say, as a PNCA alumni, I took one of my science requirement classes that there was a physics class. And they did actually make us make art. But that was an art school, trying to teach physics. So they’re like, Well, how do we do that? Okay, well make them make art about physics, because that’s their jam. They’re going to know how to do that writing along physics paper. Yeah, that’ll be a little harder. Yeah. But I do remember making an art physics
homework project, which was super fun. I yeah.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 19:24
Imagine though. Like if, if other like PSU had Yeah, the art component, visual communications component in all their classes. Yeah,
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 19:32
Professors out there in the world. We’re all teachers, educators. This is
for you. taking note right now I consider it
Kendra Larson (KJL) 19:41
dude. You know, Einstein was a big doodler. Right. Oh, yes. like writing not… drawing. I mean, doodling. Yeah, like, yeah, so there you go.
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 19:52
Yeah, I think it’s a great idea. Yeah.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 19:56
Go back to the interview.
Ashley Larson (AL) 19:58
I mean, this kind of ties in all your senses being used, but what what do you listen to in the studio? If anything?
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 20:05
Yeah, no, I have music. I have an art, I call it it’s my art flow on Spotify, my playlist, which I was listening to recently, and it’s very erratic, as far as like, type of music and style of music. And I was thinking about that recently. It’s like, why is this so kind of all over the place? And I think it’s because it keeps my brain guessing. It’s like, goes from this, you know, hip hop song to like a jazz song to like this, like, smooth, sound based piece. But every time it makes a shift, it kind of wakes me up. I’m like, Oh, that’s fascinating. And then I got into this, you know, instead of just staying at one level of listening to the smooth jazz the whole time, you know, like, I need to, like, be pulled up and over and sideways and woken up over and over again. But I also really, when I’m not listening to music, I love watching the How do I describe, you know, like, someone’s getting their house redone. And they’re like, Oh, we have to get this done, where you’re going be up to midnight fixing this thing. And they’re trying to do this amazing remodel and looking at the colors, and they have all this work to do and I’m gonna build my house and it’s fabulous. You know, and on the deadline, and they’re going to come home next week. And for some reason I really enjoy, like, their creative process and the urgency of their work and hearing their talk about making. Well, I’m doing it like it. I don’t know. I don’t know.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 21:23
So you listen to home remodel.
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 21:25
Yeah. Or like the home redecorating or the home remodel.
Ashley Larson (AL) 21:29
Yeah. I like those though. They’re satisfying. They are because you can peek at them every once awhile when you’re doing
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 21:34
Yeah. Or at least just stop for the final reveal. Like you hear them the whole time doing their thing. And then they’re so excited. did all that work. And it looks so amazing.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 21:45
The green tiles really did look good! That flood in the basement worked out! It always works out!
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 21:55
Totally need that that positive. It’s all going to work out and the amazing and the and perspective. Yeah, great.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 22:06
interview was all over the place. Um, okay, so we’ve talked about a little bit Yes, have a sense for your daily practice in your studio, listening to you,
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 22:16
although I don’t do it every day. I’m like an often on person. I’m like an all or nothing. Like, I’m in my studio, like 10 hours. And then like, I might go for two weeks with like, nothing. Just life.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 22:26
Okay, that’s my rhythm too. Yes. You also are busy in the art world and other ways. You’re like,
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 22:34
Am I Lewis and Clark?
Kendra Larson (KJL) 22:35
Yeah. And it can you do you want to talk about art in Oregon a little bit?
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 22:39
I would love to so art in Oregon is my husband Owen Premore. We started the nonprofit together. It’s been about two years now. I love that we aren’t in Oregon, was born, at least in our minds and in our process in the future at Bob’s Red Mill in Milwaukee. Yeah. Love Bob. He is nasty. Go see him play piano at Bob’s Red Mill restaurant. Really? Yeah, he loves. He’s got this big grand piano on the top floor. It’s usually like on the weekends will go up there and just kind of play his saw his little red vest on. Anyway, so we went to Bob’s because they got you know, unlimited coffee, and a really good hearty breakfast. And we just sat there at the big table.
Ashley Larson (AL) 23:22
I’ve been wanting to go there.
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 23:25
yeah, it’s a great, especially if you got like something you want to do or have a meeting and you can just bring your notebook or your laptop, big roomy tables, lots of coffee, free oyster crackers, you can just eat
Kendra Larson (KJL) 23:37
really like that?
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 23:38
Yeah, yes. Anyway. So after some, you know happenings in our life, we decided to think about what’s the next stage of our life going to be -life happened in such a way that we really wanted to start thinking about our legacy and our contribution going forward. And art in Oregon is really important from that thinking about what are we going to contribute during our lifetime? And where do we want to be in you know, 5, 10, 20, 15 years from now. And we, as residents of Oregon City, we saw a lot of change happening. There’s the big waterfall guys haven’t seen it. There’s a giant waterfall in Oregon City will Emma falls really, really big a second only to Niagara Falls in this part of the world. And that property was just bought. There’s all kinds of remodeling happening 25 acres, our downtown is about to blow up doing great things right now. And so we were seeing our neighborhood and our home and our city growing and we were in one of the galleries near our house, the only gallery in Oregon City closed. And so we were like how is art and my community going to continue going forward and who’s going to speak up to make sure artists included in my community. And so art and Oregon was really born from our desire to make sure that art was part of the conversation in our community in supporting our community and the artists live there. And then that expanded to Well, why just here in our neighborhood, why not the whole state because we see this whole and Oregon there’s all of our cultural Coalition’s there’s rack we love rack, and there’s a rack for every county in Oregon. And they’re all government funded, and they’re very specific to their area. And they focus on their little region. And then there’s the the giant is that as the Portland Metropolitan art scene, you know, that is that very self focused. And so, art organ is born on the idea of connecting the Oregon art scene as a whole. And with all the other communities around it, other than just Portland because there’s so much art happening, like you said, with the Salem art festival, so many great artists down there. There’s great artists and Ben. So our idea was to think about art communities all around the state of Oregon, and connecting them together and creating one day Oregon art culture and not just a Portland, Oregon. Yeah.
Ashley Larson (AL) 26:02
Yeah, that’s really great. I mean, why not tie us all together, work together. Yeah.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 26:08
And a lot of things have been closing.
Unknown Speaker 26:11
It really has. Yeah, I mean, even with the art schools, Marylhurst and the the amazing art that happened there and Art Institute closing and Oregon College of Arts and Crafts closing
Kendra Larson (KJL) 26:24
before that the museum right? craft museum and yeah, oh, yeah. The craft museum.
And U of O’s White box just
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 26:33
New Space center for photography.May they rest in peace. Oh, God,
Kendra Larson (KJL) 26:36
I just went are too long. Have you read the article? arranging the deck chairs? It was in Oregon arts watch. It was by Josephine Markovich. Yeah, it kind of looked for it’s depressing. But it was a really a kind of a call to action is like, hey, what can we do to support artists? Because we’re growing and we need to figure out what we’re doing. Yeah, yeah. So this was sounds like very much like what your guys’s cool. Yeah, our
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 27:06
goal is to get to know the art scene in Oregon overall. And so that we can see these things happening across the state in different locations. Like right now in wallpaper, Oregon, tiny little town on the coast, beautiful little town. And they have a blossoming art scene there. They have the ballpark artist group, and hopefully a future art center that they’re working on there. That they they could use support of not just their little town community, but this community is around them community in the county community in the state. And so if nobody notices, you know, who’s going to say that what they’re working for in their new Arts Center might not exist if they don’t have the help and the support from their community. So somebody needs to take notice and connect and create these, these networks for people to thrive on, so that we don’t have so many losses going forward so that we have burst of new art centers, and newer programs instead of less art programs and less art centers.
Ashley Larson (AL) 28:07
So like, Okay, why should artists be art collectors?
Kendra Larson (KJL) 28:11
Yeah. And like, what else can we do? to kind of help the art world? Right?
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 28:15
Yes. So this is what I’m super passionate about. Alright, artists out there, listen on. artists need to buy art. It’s crazy to me that there isn’t more artists out there that don’t own art. And I’m not talking about trading with your friends. You know, I’m not talking about oh, I went to my friend’s house, and they gave me this painting that they don’t want anymore. No, I mean, go to an art show. An art fair and our festival girl gallery, whatever, and buy a piece of art full price, right? And pay for it and take it home and add it to your collection. And I say this, because not supporting our own community is just, I can’t even wrap my head around it.
Ashley Larson (AL) 28:57
It’s like you can’t complain if you’re not like hell yeah, you know? Yeah, like, you can’t complain because you didn’t buy any art. So yeah.
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 29:05
It’s like, why should you expect people to buy your art if you’re not willing to buy anyone else’s. And for me, I know, the biggest excuse that I hear from people is I can’t afford it. And not. And here this is so not true, we have so much art in my house, I lost track at around 30 or 40 pieces. And I have some friends came over and I did the little my little speech I need to buy more art. And I show them you know, my tiny pieces I have I have a painting it’s maybe three inches by three inches square actually have to when they’re on these tiny little easel sitting on my mantel, and I believe I paid maybe $5 for those tiny little paintings. But the artists worked hard and he made those in there, they’re super higher hyper realistic, there’s one of like this perfect, little broken egg shell and there’s one of this perfect little like river rock. And so I have the next together with a with a relationship of the rock and the egg and the similarities and the organic farming the precision with the artists, they’re really beautiful. But $5 $5 I feel like most people could afford $5 even once a year like that is
Ashley Larson (AL) 30:09
what people thought coffee every day, that’s more expensive
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 30:12
totally you buy a pair of jeans like I don’t even want to know how much people are buying for their jeans these days. You know, do an artist a solid and buy it a piece of their work because part of it is the money but part of it is giving the artists the confidence that somebody appreciated their work enough to give them a little bit of their hard earned money and take it home into their personal space and live with it and enjoy it and appreciate their work. So having that gratification of my work is meaningful and important. And people like it and value it and you know that’s what you get from an art sale.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 30:44
Totally. And you mentioned legacy earlier You’re kind of helping them build their own legacy. Yeah, I have friends that by anniversary like by artwork for each other for every anniversary I love that idea. So it’s not just like buying one piece of artwork and they’re calling it good but making it a habit Yeah. And and what a wonderful gift to give someone right well
Ashley Larson (AL) 31:06
yeah, that’s it i mean i hear the argument of like, Why don’t have space in my house well stored away and swap things out for like get little pieces of like like pieces Yeah,
Kendra Larson (KJL) 31:16
there’s no excuse people Yeah, get rid of some windows and just make more wall space. Period.
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 31:23
Big 500 great place to buy art if you guys don’t know the Chris Haberman event happens yearly and I believe it’ll be back this Christmas I look forward to it. A lot of people in my life get a $40 square of art. Very cool.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 31:37
That’s the Pioneer Square Mall?
Unknown Speaker 31:38
Yeah pioneer place on the top floor I don’t know if it will be there in the future it’s also been at the Ford building and we’ll see where it is next year and all they have to you know find a good place for all that to happen It was such a huge and amazing about all of those artists
Kendra Larson (KJL) 31:53
also galleries take him in plans. So if you go into a gallery and fall in love with something like talk to the owner cuz talk to the galleries cuz they want to, they want to sell yard and they will find a way.
Unknown Speaker 32:07
But I know my husband and I we usually pick there’s a different events that happened throughout the year where we like to buy art one is big 500 we always go and get our go with our debit card, get the cash out. So we don’t have to wait in the credit card line get two to $20 bills, and we can come home with a piece of art. And then there’s the Portland Fine Art print fair. And if you guys have heard of this one, very it seems very high end because it’s at the Portland Art Museum. And they do have a lot of really nice high inexpensive prints, but they also have artwork that is accessible to you know, I’m a regular are wage person I’m not I’m not wealthy in by any means. But I bought and work there. I think the last three years I’ve come home with a print for $300 or less. And I know there’s definitely ones for under 300. It’s just a matter of what I like
Kendra Larson (KJL) 32:51
the first Thursday’s like in the summer, don’t they still have
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 32:54
Thursday? Yeah. Very cool. Yes. And you can see and meet the artists firsthand, have a relationship with them. It’s very cool.
Unknown Speaker 33:02
That’s fun. Lots of things to go out. And dude, yeah, I’m gonna go buy some art. Now. What is your dream project?
Unknown Speaker 33:10
I don’t know, I feel like I’m already doing my art in Oregon is my dream project, I feel like, for me, the challenge is just going to be to continue to do it without letting it get overwhelming. I think sometimes it can be overwhelming to think about the entire state of Oregon, and getting to know all of these people and building all these networks and communities and bridges and all of that, and building the organization. But I just got to think about it one day, one week, one month at a time. And it’s going to be amazing process. And I really love to think about every now and then in 20 years, all the people in our community that I’ll have met and connect with and will know and share and connect together it’s going to be quite a thing. Quite a thing. As far as my own art, I would say, I don’t really know about I have an ideal project. I don’t really think of my art and like project base, I think of it is moving forward in the right direction. I don’t know why I’m painting, drawing at a time. I feel like I’m having a really good direction. I’m looking forward to purging my studio of the stuff I used to work on in the past that I don’t want to work that way anymore. So never ending quest for the perfect studio space. Yeah.
Unknown Speaker 34:28
Always changing music. Good. You know? Yeah. not sticking to one. Yeah, cuz like project is not a good word for anything that when you’re creative, because it’s like you want to keep moving. You don’t want to just have a set in stone thing. You’re always changing and
Unknown Speaker 34:46
evolving. Yeah. Like I recently decided that I don’t want to waste my time working in mediums and materials I don’t enjoy working in. So like I love fabric. I love the feeling of it. I love everything about it. But Sony. Not really that much fun for me. I can mend a shirt or something and cool make a little cover for my stool. But when it comes to art making, I don’t really enjoy the quantity of sewing required for my art. So my fabrics going to get packed up and put away for a while and see what happens because I found it. I don’t enjoy it. Not gonna, I’m not gonna include that in my process. I’ll make ruin my studio for something I really, really feels good to do.
Ashley Larson (AL) 35:28
Ca n I ask you a question? Ashley?
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 35:29
Yeah, I wanna hear from you guys.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 35:32
What’s your what’s your superhero power this week that you want?
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 35:36
just for this week? doesn’t even have to be for life. Just this the next seven days? What do you need to be able to do really well? Just probably,
Unknown Speaker 35:44
I want I want to go back to this encaustic painting business. I don’t know if that’d be my superpower. But just like the ability to do amazing things with it. Not making a lot of sense this morning. But- That’s an excuse I never make sense, so
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 36:06
what about you Kendra, what would your if you have a superpower this week? Just this week,
Kendra Larson (KJL) 36:11
by the way encaustic on a 90 degree day sounds like horrible.
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 36:16
I know it sounds bad. But because you’re working with
Kendra Larson (KJL) 36:19
Working with a hot plate and torch?
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 36:20
Yeah, no. I love the torch though. Working with tours. How fun is that? I mean, I got hair. So I gotta be careful with my long hair. But working with fire and like molten stuff can’t be in it. What gets better than that?
Kendra Larson (KJL) 36:35
If you let your hair on fire call Ashley because she will get creative with it.
Ashley Larson (AL) 36:44
Bring your hair, we’ll just go with it.
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 36:46
For the science II folks, it doesn’t melt until about 100 or 220 degrees. So there’s that? Just the science of it. But
Ashley Larson (AL) 36:56
Is that hair that doesn’t melt?
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 36:57
Now the wax.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 36:58
I thought you were talking about your hair, too.
Ashley Larson (AL) 36:59
Yeah. I’ll tell my clients that
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 37:02
it’s probably similar for my hair. But I don’t really want to test that theory. Yeah, no, I like I like my hair. Another wax you have to be real, it has to be really hot. So we use like a pancake griddle. That’s the official and caustic material tool that if you do the research and I’ll say use a pancake I don’t like that’s our, our tool. And then you put all of your little metal cups with all the wax like on the pancake Gretel as your palate with all the different colors in them and you kind of kind of mixed within the cups and then you got like 10 seconds between the cup and them to get the hot wax on to the thing before it goes back to being a solid material. Anyway.
Ashley Larson (AL) 37:42
I just think have to like the process like you probably have to work faster. You probably have to go with it. If something doesn’t go your way, you know,
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 37:48
no, that’s not true. Because you can just grab it right off and you just cut it out. Yeah, scrape it off, heated up melted down
Ashley Larson (AL) 37:55
So it’s not final you can just start over.
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 37:57
Yeah, I feel like in some ways, it’s more forgiving than saying acrylic painting or an oil painting. Especially oil because it takes so long to dry. So if you mess up, it’s like what are you going to scrub it off with paint then it’s going to make the whole thing look kind of messy. Yeah, you know, and acrylic, you just got to cover it up. But in caustic, you can paint over it. You can just scrape it off. You know, within seconds. You can melt it into something else. That’s cool.
Ashley Larson (AL) 38:19
Yeah. Sounds fun. You told me
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 38:22
you would like. We should do it. I could hook you up with a day.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 38:26
I still have my stuff. Yeah. Yeah. Sounds fun. The smells really good. Yeah. But my Okay, so what my superhero power. Yes,
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 38:34
Kendra Larson (KJL) 38:36
I would like the ability to not have to sleep.
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 38:39
That’s what I was gonna say. Oh, you stole money. Yes. Not having to sleep. That’s like everyone.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 38:44
Yeah, just work all the time. Yeah. I mean, that sounds more like
Ashley Larson (AL) 38:48
have the ability to be refreshed. Yeah,
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 38:50
yeah. I mean, yeah, not tired. But also not tired. So you can just stay up continuously and not be tired and just keep going. That is exactly what I need.
Unknown Speaker 38:59
Oh, my gosh, then maybe throw in not being hungry. So then you could just go all day.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 39:04
Have you guys seen-
but I do love food.
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 39:08
Yeah, like I still want to be able to eat, you know, like, I don’t want to not have to eat like if I ate then I would just like turn huge. I want to eat but not be hungry. So I could eat when I wanted. Right. You know if I want to eat one fantastic meal a day. That’s great. If I don’t have time, then, you know. Oh, well, and then just stay up forever.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 39:26
Yeah. Have you seen them? Tim Burton movie? Franken weenie?
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 39:30
Ashley Larson (AL) 39:31
Yes, I have.
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 39:32
At least if I have I don’t recall.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 39:34
I’ve watched it with Oliver
Ashley Larson (AL) 39:35
It’s super cute.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 39:36
It’s really good. You got to check it out. Um,
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 39:39
is it a newer one? Or is that a really old one?
Ashley Larson (AL) 39:41
It’s like claymation, isn’t it?
Kendra Larson (KJL) 39:42
Yeah, it’s pretty new. Okay, I don’t know when it was made
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 39:45
I feel like haven’t seen a Tim Burton in a while
Kendra Larson (KJL) 39:48
It was really good. But there’s a part where spoiler I guess it’s not really a spoiler. But basically, the dog starts to fall asleep. And so they just plant some,
Ashley Larson (AL) 39:56
like voltage to his little bolts.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 39:58
Yeah, it’s just like, charge him up again – Zoop!
Ashley Larson (AL) 39:58
maybe that’s what we need?
Kendra Larson (KJL) 39:58
That’s all I need is just to be charged up just like- plug me in for a few minutes. And then I’m ready to go.
Unknown Speaker 40:07
Yeah, that’s what yeah, I put the phones. Little cord. Just -Yeah, yeah.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 40:12
While I’m painting just plug me in for a minute. And, yeah.
Unknown Speaker 40:16
I feel like that’s what I see as Netflix job for me. You know, when I’m like starting to droop around the edges physically, psychologically. And just like all right, any I need a little 20 minute break, have something to take my mind off of everything and just kind of chillax. And like, yeah. Yeah. That’s what Netflix does. For me. It’s my power. My horrible. Get on Netflix.
Unknown Speaker 40:38
Before you go. Do you want to tell everybody? Or like six listeners? What’s going on right now? For you?
Unknown Speaker 40:46
Sure. Yeah. So I currently have an exhibition up at Salem Cultural Center in Newburgh, Oregon, which is not that far away from Portland. For me in Oregon City is 30 minutes south. If you’re driving to the beach economy on the way to the beach, depending on where in the beach, you’re going to show if you’re heading out that way. It’s a good time to check it out. They also have various other festivals and events. So you could overlap it with that if you want to you Yes, the vineyards is a very, very cool fun town. You can do some wine tasting, check out my show. They do First Friday receptions, actually Halem. So you could always attend the first Friday in August, they’ll have their food and wine because it’s Newburgh, free wine and all kinds of good snacks at their first Friday. And they actually have one left because it’s not Portland, and the server so you can actually get one. You know, like they have enough bottles for everybody.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 41:41
Wait, you go to an opening and you leave with a bottle of wine?
Unknown Speaker 41:43
Well, no, no. I mean, you can like glass when I yeah, let’s just say I could have at least two or three drinks if I wanted to. Yeah, anyway, props to them for having plenty of really high quality wine being in wine country. So First Fridays, I should element I definitely recommend checking it out. This show is up to the end of August, me and Amanda triplet. So her work. And I’ll talk about her work just briefly. So her work is like a textile version of my work. So it’s like a dimensional installation, e type work, all made with recycled textiles and fabrics. And her work. She has a strong belief that if she is going to make new things, she wants to do that with recycled objects. So she’s not bringing more into the world. She’s just repurposing what is already here. It’s a very important environmental part of her work that she doesn’t want to just create more stuff. She wants to create new things with things that are already existing. She’s vegan, and she wants her work to represent those values as well. And I found her so this is an interesting story. We have time for a quick little story. All right, I’ll keep it short. So I found her she was doing a show at Multnomah Art Center, which has a beautiful gallery if you guys have never been there over in what is that Southwest Berlin anyway, in the Multnomah district Muslim Art Center gallery, and I saw her work and has like, you know, that really, it speaks to me, I feel like our work is saying some of the same things from our each, you know, unique life experience. But we’re saying the same things with our visual art pieces. We’re having the same conversation. So I looked up her info emailed her and I was like, let’s do a show together. Like, I don’t know you at all, you don’t know me, but let’s be friends. And she was like, all right. And so we brought up a show description, you know, of how our work goes together and what we’re talking about with our work and applied for all these different shows together with our purposed exhibit. Because my idea was, it would be a lot easier for me to get a two person show than it would for me to find to get a solo show because people dress do people more than they trust one person, you know, because it’s a responsibility anyway. So I think it only took us about five or six proposals. I think halen was our fifth proposal. They accepted it and our show was born, so I didn’t even know her before the show. That’s how we met and how we came to make art together. And that was about the two year process of writing proposal, finding the exhibition’s getting accepted for the show, making the work talking to each other over the last year and having meetings and having little like collaborative visits. Because we did a somewhat collaborative piece over the mezzanine at the Shayla Cultural Center, they had this big 30 foot long mezzanine that you as you walk in, up high to look up and it’s six feet deep and 30 feet long. And it has three large figure paintings that I made with these kind of fleshy colored pink backgrounds. And then these black silhouette, kind of dancing figures in them surrounded by her textile cell structure organic fiber pieces. So it was really amazing putting the show together, pairing my really flashy and caustic pieces of body and depth to that with her fleshy bloody textile pieces. There’s one piece when we were setting up at Shayla, there was a wedding going on of a family. And the kids were there. And they were looking at these little girls and they were looking at the piece. And I kept describing it. It is both romantic and gory at the same time, if you can imagine because it’s red, and it’s bloodied and says that kind of red blood drip to it. But it was made it’s also made with lacing and tool and has this kind of Valentine’s Day love and romantic Miss, you know that you get with the red lace. That’s what I think of red lace. And so it’s kind of gory and romantic at the same time, which I think is a really interesting combination. So you should go check out the show. It is very, it’s very red. It’s very organic. It’s very different. It’s a different kind of our experience to think about how we see our bodies and the organic forming the organic world and our relationship with our consciousness within this changing physical form of organic blood and hair and skin in life. And even just the earth and the trees around us. And things like hot wax, you know?
Kendra Larson (KJL) 46:16
Yeah, yeah. This is Awesome. Well, thank you so much.
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 46:21
Sure. Thank you for having me.
Ashley Larson (AL) 46:24
This has been Art Gab.
Kendra Larson (KJL) 46:25
yeah. We have to come up with a really good
Ashley Larson (AL) 46:28
Have an art filled day. That’s what you wrote down here.
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 46:32
buy more art?
Kendra Larson (KJL) 46:32
buy more art.
Ashley Larson (AL) 46:33
There you go. Support artists, Artists supporting artists.
Tammy Jo Wilson (TJW) 46:36
Yeah, there we go.
Transcribed by https://otter.ai