Thursday, 20 December 2012

The Story of Studio 2846: Part Two

This blog post is part of an ongoing series, Part One of which can be found by clicking here.

At that time, Wallace was living in Rockford, Illinois where he had converted a 950 square foot bungalow into a larger studio and living space. For some time now, the artist had been contemplating the idea of moving closer to the gallery in NYC, but feared that buying even a very small studio in Manhattan would cripple his finances.

Upon losing the Ruth Siegal Gallery, Wallace knew he needed to find a way around relying exclusively on galleries to show his work. He began toying with the idea of a studio and living space in Chicago, where he hoped he could afford to buy something with a little more room.

Wallace spent much of 1989 looking all over Chicago for a space. He explored over twenty buildings before he finally found what would become Studio 2846. Wallace would drive into Chicago from Rockford to visit a few building in one area during the day, and would return later, after dark to experience the area by night – how did it feel? Could he live there? Most, he recalls, were too intense or deserted by night. He kept looking.

At the time, Chicago’s Humboldt Park area was extremely troubled. Crime was rampant. “The area was dangerous, there’s no doubt about that. But it was inexpensive and the buildings, though deeply neglected, could be turned into anything if you had the guts and the vision. The potential just called out to me.”

One day, Wallace recalls, he made a right onto North Avenue as the sun broke through the clouds, illuminating a boarded up, grimy, yellow brick building. There was no for sale sign, but he turned to his friend – “I have to take a look at that place.” His friend shrugged. They went in.

Return soon to read the next installment of The Story of Studio 2846, or subscribe on the right to receive updates as they’re posted.

Monday, 17 December 2012


A poem written by the artist during the process of completing a recent work, The Rapture of Recognition.

There are pieces that flirt across the minds eye
that find,
purchase without cause,
vibrating in breathless anticipation
 coupling thus in enlightened understanding.

Pierced by fragmented thought
woven in tempered beauty,
a tapestry reveals in intricate touch, 
this message unspoken.

Now one stands truly alone,
  in unerring silence,
born of singular need,

The whispering of secrets held so tight
as to be unwavering. 


Sunday, 9 December 2012

The Story of Studio 2846: Part One

These days, on Friday evenings in cities across the country, hundreds of artists pull open the heavy, industrial doors of warehouses and factory buildings-turned- studios to welcome the arts community for open views of their work. But back in the late eighties and early nineties, this was unheard of. Artists relied almost entirely on galleries for their livelihoods—to select, show, and sell their work.

It was 1989, and Wallace had enjoyed a successful decade showing in galleries from Chicago to Houston to New Orleans. One of the most high profile was the Ruth Siegal Gallery in New York. Following the success of a group exhibition at the gallery which included a number of Wallace’s works, Siegal took the artist on full time, and began planning a focus exhibition around his work. “It was such an exciting time,” he recalls. “I felt the momentum; I knew I was at the edge of something.”

One morning, he received a call. Ruth Siegal, the 73 year old owner, was closing down the gallery. Wallace recalls her telling him that if she were ten years younger, she’d love the opportunity to work with him. She felt it would be a four year project to launch his career and establish him in the industry. Unfortunately, it was a project she didn’t have the energy to take on.

Devastated and frustrated, Wallace remembers, “I realized then that I needed to control my own destiny. I couldn’t be at the mercy of galleries for the rest of my career. I had to show my own work.”

Return soon to read the next installment of the Story of Studio 2846, or subscribe on the right to receive updates as they're posted.

Monday, 3 December 2012

Work Continues: The Rapture of Recognition

To uncover the finished image that becomes the painting is to work on multiple levels at each instant, grabbing disparate fragments of color and shape and imbuing them with tension so that by the very end of this dance of endless hours of weaving harmonic vibrations together there is a surface that vibrates, alive and rich, revealing the intent within.

Yet, in this process there are only fragments of recollection and it is by unending faith that I continue to travel in this labyrinth of forgotten memories laid down before in recollecting conversation. Conscious always of the peril that lies ahead as both an artist and an observer.