Featured Artist: Lynn Alker
We asked Lynn a few questions about her work, and her experience with the Unchained exhibit this month! Take a few minutes and read more about this local female artist!
1- How would you describe yourself and your artistic style?
“Enthusiastically Experimental & Evolving”
I’m drawn to all different forms of art; sculpture, drawings, textiles, but I’m currently in love with painting.
My paintings always begin with mark making. This can be simple lines, drawings, text or even rants that I cover in paint, but may resurface later. This gestural language and the initial layers are the most freeing aspect for me. The mystery of not knowing the path is key and I try to let each piece just evolve.
I vacillate between lively color and quiet contemplative monochromatic. The end results are usually indicative of my current mood or feelings.
2- Does local Raleigh culture inspire or influence your work?
Although not NC born and raised, I am a proud Raleighite, thrilled to see the urbanization of downtown with its influx of museums, galleries, restaurants, and events. Our diversity, politics, educational opportunities, and vibrant arts community make this an exciting place for me to live. I feel influenced and energized by our capital city and want to be part of it. When you factor in our Zen-inducing pristine coasts and mountains —- well, we have so much to enjoy and inspire us.
3- What is your favorite medium to work with & why?
There is something intoxicating about oil paint. I appreciate its richness and the way it spreads. My favorite way to work is with oil (and all its variables- sticks, pastels, pencils) and cold wax medium. I love to incorporate texture with whatever I have available-sand, ashes, coffee, anything to build layers on a hard substrate. I’m fortunate that my husband has carpentry skills and is willing to make cradled boards I can scratch, gouge and excavate on. This rough foreplay is necessary therapy for me.
I work abstractly and intuitively.
The fluidity of acrylics and quick drying time make it another favorite- I also enjoy charcoal, especially soft vine, willow, and inks. Sculpture is a medium I long to explore.
4- How would you describe your art that is on exhibit at Imurj?
My three pieces in the main gallery are examples of my abstracts gone figurative. I start these pieces like the others, with no intention. It’s just where the painting goes. Sometimes there is a bit of whimsy, like “Lonely Ace”, although he is truly lonely, and I hope you feel that. Others are more serious like “Tell Me Your Story” and “The Message”. I have some that are more dark and ominous.
The Imurj Local Shop has a collection of my petite abstracts on paper for sale. They are oil and wax originals, matted and suitable for framing. These tend to be colorful and fun and can be purchased in the shop or online here–> Imurj Shop Online: Lynn Alker
5- Why did you decide to create the Unchained exhibit?
A few months ago, I read about a NYC gallery opened strictly for artists over the age of 60. Presumably that age group has been overlooked if they haven’t found success in the early years of their art careers. This intrigued me and got me thinking about the talented women I’ve encountered in my local classes and workshops. Many have had full time careers, and or raised families; or had other reasons they are just now able to pursue their art aspirations. Others have had to put their art careers on hold and are just coming back. For many of us, this is a new chapter in our lives without the responsibilities we had as younger women. Those of us not represented in galleries need and want avenues to show our work.
This is also a wonderful occasion and event to bridge new artists with the more seasoned and established local ones. I’m happy and grateful to see many Raleigh art mentors elevate this show with their work.
Lastly, there is that ageism component. It’s high time to bust those negative stereotypes. We are never too old to learn, inspire, or be inspired. The women I know 60 and beyond, are modern, energetic, engaging contributors.
In some ways, I’m just hitting my stride.
6- Why choose Imurj to host this exhibit?
Imurj has an authentic, unpretentious vibe. I felt comfortable here at the first art class I took. After meeting some of the staff and talking with Kenneth Proseus, the gallery program manager, I started thinking about a show here. It has truly been a great experience for me – not only being in the exhibit but learning about curating, marketing and selling my work. Kenneth and the staff at Imurj have been wonderfully supportive.
I really feel like I’m part of this community now.
Imurj is a local gem.