Wednesday, 20 March 2013

Montana Studio: Part One

This week, we sit down with the artist to discover the story of his second studio in Montana.

“It’s a strange thing, like déjà vu. I have a vivid memory of being an undergraduate at the University of Illinois, walking with my friends to class down a gloomy side street, and of this clear image coming to me: my reflection in a lake—I was older, I had grey hair, I was with a woman. We looked out over this beautiful landscape, a house framed by towering mountains, trees and rocks. It was strange—it felt like a memory. And it stayed with me.”

Fast forward a few decades to 2005. Wallace was living and working at Studio 2846 in Chicago, “I adore Chicago,” he says, “but the summers are hard for me—they’re so hot and humid.”

 Wallace and his wife, Deborah, were taking a break from the city, hiking in the wilderness near Lake Tahoe. “We were near these beautiful mountains, and we looked out over a body of water. It reminded me so much of that experience that I had to remind Deborah about it. She turned to me and asked, “You don’t want to wait until your 60, not if this is something you really want. Let’s start looking. Do you know where this is?”

It really made me consider things differently, and after that, we started looking. We booked a trip to Montana and Idaho, consulted the listings and saw a photo of raw land, 20 acres.  Upon walking this property it was instant, it was just… it. Every tree, every rock. The only thing missing was the house. It was my memory. We didn't need to look any further. I was home.

Two months later I packed up my truck and drove to Montana, and began immediately to build a cabin to live in while I worked on building the space. It took me a year and a half to build my studio in the mountains. In the summers now, that’s where I go to paint.”

Return soon to find out more about Wallace's work in Montana, or subscribe on the right to receive updates as they're posted.

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