Take the leap.

Artist Profiles (part 6): Sarah Goetz, Dave Alsobrooks, Christopher Gergen

This is part 6 of 7-part series Artist profiles, for the participating artists of STITCH. These artists are creating works inspired by words collected from Durham residents about what they’d like to see their city become. You can buy their specially created pieces through these Kickstarter rewards and to inspire more conversations.

Sarah Goetz

Sarah Goetz will create an abstract ink & watercolor drawing from your chosen word. $250 pledge.

Sarah Goetz will create an abstract ink & watercolor drawing from your chosen word. $250 pledge.

Full disclosure: Sarah Goetz has been my favorite artist working in town, since the time she transformed the Carrack Modern into a magical, swirly, intimate yet grandiose, space in 2012. So when we “got her in,” I was ecstatic. Her creations are just like her: quiet yet resolute, intimate but mysterious.

For the lucky backers of STITCH who pledge $250 or more, she will create a custom pen and watercolor drawing just for you, using your one word of choice.

She decided to participate in Stitch, because:

“I’m very interested in words and their impact on our understanding of a moment. My use of words comes from an intense concentration on the forms I’m dealing with and the situation I’m in, and I’m interested in what kind of work I’d make concentrating on what Durham is.”

And she loves Durham because, she says, “I feel like I could do anything here and have support from my peers, friends, & neighbors.”

Asked “if you were to dedicate your piece to one famous person in Durham, dead or alive, who would it be?” She answers: “Laura Ritchie (co-owner of The Carrack and education outreach coordinator at Durham Art Guild), for being swept up in a dream and driving it forward.”

Dreaming and driving it forward could well be the theme around here!

Her work: http://sarahgoetz.com/

Dave Alsobrooks

Dave Alsobrooks with one of his proposed designs for his reward: giclee print piece depicting the word "complicated" $125

Dave Alsobrooks with one of his proposed designs for his reward: giclee print piece depicting the word “complicated” $125

Dave is the first artist I met when I came back in town. I reached out to him, after learning that the branding for then-fledgeling Bull City Forward was led by his company Paragraph Project. I told him, like him, I was interested in branding work that’s rooted in intimate awareness of what it represents and lots of conversations with the stakeholders. He told me that, like my partner and I, he’s a working artist, too. We were, basically, cut from the same cloth, and we have been following each other’s work closely over the years. We never got to work together, though, until now.

He told me: “I’m participating in Stitch because coalitions such as this have the power to create conversation and reflection in the communities in which we reside. Our individual points of view create a rich array of topics to explore and an engaging experience that is as much fun as it is inspiration.”

Dave’s art explores his surroundings and identity, and the mix of the two. “I’m an artist form the South. But it’s not as cut and dry as this, because being from the South is rife with inconsistencies if not outright contradictions. These cultural contradictions and how they fit into a modern world (and vice versa) interest me a great deal. My work reflects this interest in social commentary through conceptual art, design and a decidedly Southern point of view.”

Dave is creating three designs for limited-edition STITCH Durham posters. Taking words “durhable,” “complicated,” and “verdant,” he will create very graphic, modern work. In his words:

“This town is Durhable. It is tough, resilient and here to stay. Durham is Complicated. The city is a tapestry of culture, politics, aesthetics and more. It’s diversity makes it inherently difficult to understand completely. Not that any one person should. And outsiders do occasionally get lost! Finally, Durham is Verdant. It is lush and rich with experiences to have, people to meet and inspiration to find.”

See more of his work at http://chasingbear.com/

 

Christopher Gergen

Christopher Gergen will create an original painting for a $500 pledge

Christopher Gergen will create an original painting for a $500 pledge

Christopher Gergen is the reason Dave and I met. He leads local sustainable business advocacy Bull City Forward, among numerous other entrepreneurial endeavors. So, at one of the vote-for-your-words-event, when he told me he wanted “entrepreneurship” as what Durham would become, I wasn’t least-bit surprised. When he said he wanted to do a painting, though, I was quite taken aback. “Will you have the time?” I asked. “I will make the time.” He said.

He joins Stitch because he “Loved being part of a community of Durham artists who care about our city.” He loves Durham for its “gritty, entrepreneurial, creative, we-can-do-anything vibe” and hopes Stitch will keep “moving us toward a greater future and more connected community.”