My name is James Schenck. I am a Chicago-based visual artist, and in February I will be engaged as an artist-in-residency at the HIELO Gallery in San Juan, Puerto Rico.
My plan is to:
1. Complete a "Forrest" of painted 6’ 2inx4in “STUDS” in an open-studio environment inspired by the colors and spirt of the island I have grown to love. (visitors welcome to come explore and help while I work)
2. Produce a final show of the work for the community where the "STUDS" can either be purchased for keeping or sponsored for donation.
3. Donate all of the unsold/sponsored work (lumber) to local rebuilding charities to be incorporated back into the island's landscape.
I would like to see this residency work as a catalyst for supporting not only the vibrant Arts community in San Juan, but also the incredible sprit of the entire Island. I see this residency as an opportunity to do something significant in Puerto Rico. The gallery will become a place of hope and support. It will become a place where people will revive their sprit, as well as contribute to positive change.
**The more money raised...the more lumber I can buy... the more "STUDS" I can make... the bigger the donation for rebuilding the community!!
-To sponsor a "STUD" donate $50
I will post your name and a picture of your "STUD" to FB and Instagram when it's done!
-General donations of any denomination welcome
-Details for purchasing a "STUD" will come with show announcement.
Funds will be used for residency fee, travel, art supplies and show marketing. All proceeds from the show and excess donated funds will go DIRECTLY to supporting local charities.
Studio Photos of Finished STUDS
Gallery Mock Up, HIELO, PR w/ unfinished STUDS
Detail, Example of repurposed STUDS
Me (far right) with friends and my partner Randy (second from left) at El Yunque National Forrest, PR, February, 2017
As an artist, my goal is to explore the multi-faceted personas we construct in a complicated, hyper-social culture and create objects and images that amuse and engage the viewer into challenging where their own sense of “self” begins. I encourage questions like: What is real, and what is a mask? What invisible influences may be driving my own identity? How related or disconnected am I to my own individuality?
Visually, my aesthetic is realized through the juxtaposition of ordinary materials, fashion imagery, ephemera, modern branding language and graphic media. My own presence can be experienced in the work in the forms of paint (color), cuts, tape and presentation.
Conceptually, my role as “Editor” is at the core of everything I make. I discover, evaluate, choose, enact, and unexpectedly arrive at points all throughout my process. This parallels the journey everyone makes in shaping his or her own identity. I build pieces that fuel decision-making and judgment both as they are being made and as they stand displayed.
I call my process “Two-Dimensional Performance.”
It is the practice of exploring and presenting the superficial as significant and illuminating what our complex relationships to it can reveal about our selves. I utilize my own struggle for self-awareness and self-representation within a cultural ether full of expectations and labels to create digital work, collage, and stylized objects that actively symbolize the superficial while referencing something deeper and sublime.
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