StevenDerrick at the C&S Gallery in Boston, standing here in front of, “Buddha Glam”.
It started on a whim as an ode to some of my favorite artists who became well-known celebrities due to their outrageous personalities, but years ago, just as I was graduating college, I invented my alter-ego, StevenDerrick. I was looking to get noticed among the hundreds of young artists fighting for the spotlight. A little bronzer, a pair of aviator shades, some flamboyance and a slightly smug attitude brought the character to life. It started as a joke, one friends and crowds really got into, as StevenDerrick became the life of the party, with a sharp retort for everything. Slowly though, it seemed StevenDerrick took on a life of his own, and his — well my — art, took a back seat and was no longer the focus. When I made the decision to leave Miami and move back to Boston, StevenDerrick retired — or died — the reports are conflicted, but you get the idea.
Two nights ago, however, StevenDerrick made a brief comeback to speak at an intimate event dedicated to art and mentorship. His return came just as his origin, a whim! It was a lot of fun to switch between the character and myself and I appreciated the energy the crowd fed me. Perhaps we’ll see more of StevenDerrick in the future, but for now I’m content just being me and letting my art speak for itself.
Steven talking about his art and the importance of mentorship.
StevenDerrick, posing in front of, “Fists On the Pulse”, 2008.
If you haven’t already, please look to the right of this post and hit, “Like”, for the SWart Studio Facebook page. There you’ll find music and quotes that inspire Steven’s work, as well as updates not regularly found on the website. Thank you for your support. We can absolutely change the world through art!
FLASHBACK: Nearly five years ago, a busy graduate student started as a lowly intern for the outreach program of the Education Department of the Worcester Art Museum. He quickly moved his way up to become a member of faculty working beside well established artists and published authors.
Fast forward to now, I’ve maintained my position, but took a break from teaching WAM classes as the commute from my home in Boston to Worcester grew increasingly daunting. Though I always promised I would return for a class or workshop because of (surprising) demand. I have a special spot in my heart for all of the young artists and parents I’ve come to know through each course I taught. I love my WAM family dearly and have remained in contact with all my friends at the museum. Their love, guidance, and support helped open such wonderful doors towards my career path as an educator.
Good friend, Brett M. Holtz, author and illustrator extraordinaire will be busy signing copies of his various books during Free Comic Book Day and was kind enough to ask if I would cover his morning Saturday class. Not known for doing anything small, I’m using the opportunity as a Character Creation workshop for young cartoonists, Grades 3-5. The class and I will spend between 15-20 minutes exploring some of the museum’s exhibits and use our discoveries to help influence our work as we create a life size 2D fictional character. We’ll also be talking about specific character fashion, motivation, design, history, and more. I know it will be a ton of fun for all involved! This is a one-time only class, May 4th and goes from 10am-noon. To register, call Elaine at, 508-799-4406. I hope to see you and your child there!
One of my favorite times of the year is when I begin to explore Impressionism and Expressionism. Often times students and I (with our imaginations) transform the art room into a time machine to travel back in time to learn of our past and how it influences us now. This week we’ll be stepping into a classical senate and dividing classes into two groups to discuss the importance of each era. Each group will conduct its own research and present evidence of artists’ work to support its cause. Two students take the floor at a time, each member of each group will have a chance to take the floor and prove his/her point, plus argue against the teammate of the opposing group.
The idea came to me late last night watching the 1964 film, The Fall of the Roman Empire. One never knows where inspiration will come from! This should prove a great introduction into Impressionism and Expressionism, with projects following dedicated to both that will likely take us right to summer.