If you’ve been in our lobby over the past few months, chances are you’ve noticed some pretty awesome artwork adorning the walls! Each month we’ve been displaying the work of a local artist for our new “Featured Artist” series. It’s been so wonderful to get to know so many talented members of our community! This month we are featuring the work of Cal Rubright, who will also be hosting a small closing reception at the end of the month.
Here’s a recent interview we did with Cal to learn a little more about his work:
Ben: When and/or what got you into the arts?
Cal: My love affair with art began at an early age, around five or six years old. The catalyst was the television show ‘The Joy of Painting’. I loved sitting down to watch Bob Ross create his paintings as if by magic in the blink of an eye. I still watch him to this day!!!
Ben: Who do you look up to as an artist?
Cal: Well, Bob Ross for one. He made art feel accessible, achievable, and unimaginably fun. When he’d say things like “You can do this, you sure can!” I believed him whole heartedly. Heck, I even paint like him!!! The other real influence on me as an artist is also named Bob, Bob Geroux. His art is wild, free of the constrictions of a mind bound by societal constraint, supremely symbolic and expressive, and tangible. What’s more important though is his influence on me as a human being. As a teacher he taught me to be a more proficient artist, sure. But, as a friend he listened, he gave good counsel, taught me to see the world through others eyes, and he genuinely cared. Through his tutelage I learned what it truly means to be a good human being.
Ben: Do you have a desired medium? Why?
Cal: My desired medium is whatever I decide it is for that day really. I guess my strongest is Acrylic paint as it’s the medium I’ve used longer than any other in terms of a fine art material. I absolutely LOVE sculpting though, and for that I’ll use whatever I think will help me achieve my goal whether I have to buy, it or find it on the side of the road!
Ben: What is something that’s been a struggle for you as an artist?
Cal: I think the biggest struggle for me as an artist isn’t really anything to do with the creative process, but in the way I evaluate myself both with respect to my pieces, and as a person. There’s always this pervasive feeling of not being good enough, a fear that no one will like what it is you’re creating, asking yourself “What’s the point?” That carries over to how I look at myself as a person too. I think this is a feeling that all artists experience. When you are putting yourself into your work it exposes you the artist to criticism, not just the piece itself. You just need to be thick skinned enough to stand up to it I guess.
Ben: Do you think your art is easily understood by the viewer or is it commonly difficult for them? Is this intentional? Why or why not?
Cal: My art is pretty easily understood, there are no hidden messages or any cryptic imagery. I’m not really an introspective artist, or at least I haven’t been in the past, as I grow older I find myself broaching social issues that I refrained from approaching in the past. I haven’t intentionally set out to make my art more accessible, the subject matter that appeals to me just happens to be that way.
Ben: What are your hopes and goals as an artist?
Cal: My hope as an artist… In the past it would have been to make a happy buck, but in the last several months that has shifted. I think it is the responsibility of the artist to create pieces that reflect upon the world in the way they see it. To use their art to send a message. To that end my goal now is to begin focusing my attention to sending a message of peace, and love, and to get that message seen and heard by as many people as possible Yes, I realize that sounds like some new aged hippie nonsense, but then again, the two biggest artistic influences in my life were of that generation.
Ben: Where can people that are interested get in touch with you?