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Students Told To Make Lots of Friends in School

Posted February 18, 2012 in Events

Students Told to Make lots of Friends 


During Printmaking and Drawing Career Day at Kendall College of Art and Design, visiting artist Scott Kolbo told the students to look around the room carefully. “The people here are your peers. Get to know them. Share your work. They are going to become artists, art critics, gallery owners and teachers. These are the friendships that will eventually open doors for you.”

Both the artists at Career Day began their talks with a similar message. Interestingly, even though their work is very different, they both believe in analyzing how they got to where they are.

Scott Kolbo, says, “It is really important to acknowledge and enjoy what influences you and then find a way to make the tradition your own. It needs to make sense in the world you live in.”


The career of the balding wiry professor from Whitworth College in Spokane, WA started in high school when he was fascinated with drawings in comic books and etchings in books he took out of the library. His web site says that he spent hours and hours sketching on the back of church bulletins.

Makes sense. His Dad was a minister.

“I grew up in a household that wasn’t very rich visually,” he said. “And it took me a long time to figure out what I wanted to do but eventually by going to school and studying the works of artists like Goya, Cindy Sherman,George Grosz, Ilya Kabakov and Kara Walker I was able to develop my own style.”

He says he was most attracted to prints with funny looking people in them. And that’s a lot of what he does now. His web site is a perfect example and is worth visiting. http://www.scottkolbo.com/

He showed a variety of examples including pieces that involve characters he has created and multi-media work that includes photography, video, performance art and some very temporal settings.

He explains, “ I want to make work that contains magic and can’t be reproduced.”

Edgar Jerins, a well respected New York artist, has drawn people from the getgo. I enjoyed seeing a uTube video about his work. It’s worth watching. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O9gIAlSmBUs

Apparently he is able to keep his friends a long time because he showed the group drawings of friends in their teens and then what they looked like twenty or thirty years later.

“Instead of sitting around talking about life with my buddies, I drew them,” he said and grinned. His work has included drawings of people in crisis, drug and alcohol addicts and commission portraits “showing people at their best.”

“When I do commission portraits I do work to make them original, not expected” he said. His hair hung to his shoulders and untucked shirt made me think of guys I knew in the 60s in college who talked like this but Edgar actually did it. He is original. And successful.

Edgar talked about his influences that include learning about different styles of drawing and about his art dealer who pushed him to have an edge, to be original. “That was good advice,” he said. The result is a body of work that includes massive charcoal drawings depicting suffering, loss and failure.

~by Susan J. Smith  


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