Thanks to Antrese for this podcast interview. You can listen to the audio or download it to your computer. In this podcast interview I talked about my project that I work on at GoggleWorks while on artist-in-residence, my paintings and challenges of everyday.
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Creating Accessible Art
What does it look like to create accessible art? How does that topic become a passion project for an artist? What comes to mind when you think of “Accessible art?” My guest, artist Bartosz Beda is working on a project that centers on this very topic! In our conversation, Bartosz opens up about what led him to his career as an artist, where his residencies and fellowships have taken him, the role themes play in his artwork, why he started Execute Magazine, and much more! There are some many wonderful paths that our conversation takes, I can’t wait for you to get to know Bartosz!
What is the $7.25 project?
On a quest to create accessible art, Bartosz Beda started the $7.25 project during his summer residency at GoggleWorks in Reading, PA. Bartosz started this project to engage with the issues and challenges that minimum wage workers face every day. Inspired by immigrants from Mexico and Puerto Rico who are settling in Reading at record numbers, Bartosz wanted to represent their struggle and that of many people in the area who strive to meet the demands of daily life while working position that pays minimum wage. With this in mind, Bartosz decided to paint one hour per day throughout his residency at GoggleWorks. Each day, the resulting painting, produced in one hour of work, will be offered for sale at $7.25, or Pennsylvania’s minimum wage.
Perceptions of color
As an artist, you know that your relationship to certain colors can take on an almost personal relationship. Have you ever thought about your use of color in terms of seasons of life or different geographical locations? I was really impressed with Bartosz’ unique take on his particular relationship with various colors in his artwork and how he sees color as it relates to the different countries that he’s visited. For instance, Bartosz says that blue is the primary color that he thinks of when he considers America. This perception comes from the blue in our national flag, the uniforms of police officers, and the general sense of adventure and creating something new that our country represents. I found Bartosz’ take on the perception and use of color absolutely fascinating and I have a feeling that you will too!
When you create work you are passionate about, people will find you
Which one comes first, recognition or work that deserves recognition? The chicken or the egg? In some ways this question seems like an easy one to answer, the artwork comes first and then the following/recognition. But be honest, which one are you chasing? I’m not trying to give you a hard time but let’s face it, there are too many voices out there telling us to go after a following or chase recognition when we should be focused on creating artwork that we are passionate about! Artist Bartosz Beda shares a similar perspective, he isn’t too worried about who will connect with his work – he’s focused on creating projects that come forth from his passion and creativity. I hope you can catch a bit of Bartosz’ passion and perspective, I found it really helpful!
Execute Magazine and creating more platforms for artists
On a similar vein of creating accessible art for the public, Bartosz Beda has also gone to work creating a platform for artists who are looking for ways to hone their skills and learn from fresh perspectives (sounds kind of familiar). Seeking to serve the art community and looking for a way to create something that he could share with his young daughter later in her life, Bartosz created Execute Magazine. While he’s still working to improve and refine the operation, Bartosz is very proud of the work he and his team have been able to create. Make sure to check out images of Bartosz’ artwork and the link to his magazine by checking out the resources section at the end of this post!
Outline of This Episode
- [1:35] I introduce my guest, Bartosz Beda.
- [3:20] Bartosz talks about his start as an artist.
- [6:00] How does Bartosz choose residencies and fellowships to participate in?
- [9:15] Bartosz explains why he started his current project on the minimum wage.
- [14:45] How does Bartosz describe his artwork? What is his process?
- [19:00] Memorable reactions to Bartosz’ work.
- [21:00] Changing color combinations and branching out.
- [24:30] Bartosz opens up about facing challenges and building his business.
- [29:15] How did visiting New York impact Bartosz?
- [31:30] When you create work you are passionate about, people will find you.
- [33:00] It’s OK to talk about business and art.
- [36:45] What is Execute Magazine? Why did Bartosz start it?
- [40:45] The habit of hard work and fighting back procrastination.
- [42:45] How does Bartosz fight through challenging periods?
- [47:30] What will the end of the Bartosz’ residency in Reading, PA look like?