Abstract artisits visit Piedmont

By KENYA CHANEY

A&E Editor

On Sept. 24, contemporary artists Pete Schulte and Amy Pleasant visited Piedmont’s Mason-Scharfenstein Museum. The two artists are known for their abstract contemporary artwork and photography. Schulte and Pleasant’s show, entitled “Coupling,” will run until Oct. 8.

The Navigator interviewed the pair regarding their art.

Navigator: How would you describe your artwork?

Schulte: I make drawings. The cornerstone of my work is drawing. I also make sculptures and do site-specific art.

N: Are there any artists that influenced your art?

S: Yes, both [Pleasant] and I are big students of art history.

N: Do you have a favorite piece from this show?

S: I’m really excited about the wall. My work on paper is kind of small and intimate, so the wall gave me a chance to work on a larger scale.

N: What is your advice for art students?

S:  Being an artist is an endurance test at times. You have a little different time-table then most careers do. So, the best thing to do is find a way to keep working. Sometimes I think art students have trouble when they get out of school. They don’t have deadlines anymore, teachers or classmates that really care about what [they’re] doing to keep working. The biggest thing I [recommend] is to find a motive work that sustains you. Then, you can sustain even when you don’t have that great community like you have in school. Building community outside of school is very important as well.

N: Do you have a favorite piece in the show?

Pleasant: My favorite is [Schulte]’s black drawing. It’s just a black piece of paper. Then, he takes off the edge, and the whole surface has graphite on it. I love it because it becomes like a portal. I think it speaks to a lot of work in the show. Its the simplest piece in the show, but its one of the most powerful pieces.

N: How do you describe your personal style?

P: I guess that would be my work on paper, ink and brush. A lot of my drawings  consist of a single stroke where I try to make a whole figurative shape in one motion, so they can feel open. 

N: Are there any artists that influenced you?

P: All the time. I’ve always been into art history. Medieval art is really influential to me. The Roman and Greek ceramics are really inspiring.

N: Do you have any advice for art students?

P: Just keep making work,  following your work and letting it teach you things. Find every opportunity you can to share your work. Don’t wait for somebody to come knock on your door. Create opportunities to show. You don’t have to wait for a commercial gallery. There are so many things you can create to get your work out.