Wk 9 – Artist Conversation – Maccabee Shelley

IMG_1510 IMG_1509 IMG_1507In week 9 of the Fall 2015 semester, Professor Glenn invited one of his previous students and artist currently featured at the Gatov West Gallery at CSULB.  His name is Maccabee Shelley and he was given the microphone and the floor to speak to us students.  He urged us to follow our passion because pure talent can only take us so far, and one day, talent alone isn’t going to motivate us to be great.  Passion is something that will continue to drive us moving forward.  On Thursday afternoon, I had the pleasure to meet with Maccabee on a 1 on 1 basis to ask him about his artwork and to view inside the mind of the artist.  His art has smooth texture with contrasting colors.  A lot of his art uses materials that are found and free.  A lot of bottles of glass, cones, suitcases, books. With this raw material, he combines them together to create a new identity for the material.  Some materials, he chose to stack them together to form the base, and others, he melted together to create a new object.  Mac was an environmental science major who decided to switch to art but still use the knowledge gained from his science background to further his art.

Through talking with the artist, he has articulated the ideas of understanding the  different things that can happen when combining two objects.  When starting, he does not have an idea what will happened, so therefore, doesn’t get disappointed with the results if it didn’t go the way he wanted it to.  Instead, everything is an opportunity to learn and observe how it made him feel.  The next time he wants to recreate that same feeling, then he knows exactly how to do so.  This is him documenting what happened and his process on how he creates his art.  Using his mistakes and turning them into his art is a way to always learn and progress.  Another take on his art is to show ordinary things to people in and unordinary way.

After talking to Mac, it made me realize the fragile nature of the objects in the world.  A small change in the physical properties of the object has the ability to change the whole make up.  And by trying and trying again, you learn from your mistakes and learn from every action you do.  Instead of being disappointed in your failures, you should learn from it and turn it into something positive instead of thinking of it as a failure.  This resonates an important message in life because when people get frustrated and quit, then they have closed a door to an opportunity to learn and progress through whatever task was at hand.  Thanks Mac for putting this into an easy to understand perspective.

Here is Mac posing with my favorite piece. He can be reached through his website.  IMG_1508