Today we’d like to introduce you to Adrienne Shishko.
Adrienne, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
My art career did not evolve in a conventional way. I have always followed my gut and as a result have had quite a diverse journey. From assisting in a buying office at Saks Fifth Avenue, to earning my law degree at Harvard, to a career in personal fitness, I am always searching for a way to feed my mind, my body, and my soul. This pursuit has at last culminated in art. For me, making art is my happy place, that elusive passion that nourishes all parts of my being. It encourages and rewards me for pushing at the boundaries. The constant seduction of consumer culture and the devastating effect this has on the environment is a theme that I return to often in my work. Creating new artworks out of a variety of media, primarily recycled, allows me to keep these concerns present and to start a dialog with the viewer about these issues.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
Art allows me to follow my natural curiosity and interests. My distracted mind is rewarded by art practice, enabling me to create a wide variety of artworks from many different media. The toxic political climate in the US over the past couple of years has caused me significant grief. Making art helps me to center myself and convey my concerns in a nonverbal way. Most of my career has been focused on making mixed media paintings on canvas and panel. However, my attraction to the tactile has led me to delve into the world of textiles, primarily recycled fabrics from cast-off clothing and discontinued swatches from the interior design trade. My work with recycled textiles also evolved from my concerns for the health of the global community. Making new work from cast-0ff clothing is my way to manifest healing. My intent is to raise the collective consciousness of the wounds in our social fabric and to invite discourse regarding the profound threats we face. Our addiction to “fast fashion” contributes to the notoriously toxic pollution produced by the textile industry, especially the manufacture of denim for blue jeans. The devastation left from our trail of consumption is enormous and very few people are aware of the long-term consequences this is having on the environment.
Have things improved for artists? What should cities do to empower artists?
In many ways I think conditions for artists today have improved due to the exposure offered by the internet. Everyone can get their work seen by posting on Instagram and maintaining a website and doing their own pop-up galleries. The traditional gallery world model is no longer the sole method of exposure. That said, there is much more art being made and reproduced with high quality printing on canvas that people are choosing for their homes. This mass-produced work definitely competes with the art and craft of individual artists and makes it harder to sell original work at a price that can help sustain and support an artist. I’d love to see more Boston property owners offer their vacant spaces to artists for short-term galleries like RUCKUS while they are looking for permanent tenants. This helps everyone by making art accessible in local communities and thereby stimulating interest in the arts. It also activates streetscapes and avoids the dead zones caused by the struggling brick and mortar retail environment. People who have come into RUCKUS in the Fenway are so happy we are there, delighted to have the opportunity to engage with art in an easy local way.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
Right now my work is on view in the Boston Fenway Area, in a pop-up art gallery called RUCKUS (1327 Boylston Street in Boston) through the end of July. Five women artists in the area started this collective of sorts as an outgrowth of the strength we find in our arts community. We have installed a powerful show there that truly illustrates the “conversation” we as artists have been having for years and the one going on right now. We are hosting a variety of art related events in the space, so check out our Instagram for details. @ruckus.art.fenway.
My work is also on view now at Beacon Gallery, 524B Harrison Avenue in SOWA in a really interesting show called “Synesthesia”, through the end of July. This show beautifully pairs artwork and inspired poetry written in response to the art.
I also have two different public art works currently on view. My art is “wrapping” two large buildings in Crystal City, Virginia, part of the Metro DC area. These two empty buildings are slated to be demolished in a couple of years and the developer decided to utilize them for public art and I was chosen to be one of the two artists. It’s an amazing opportunity to have my work seen by many people!
I also have a large textile piece on view in the show “America Now” at the Providence Art Club in Providence, Rhode Island. This show was juried by Elliot Bostwick Davis, the Chair of the Art of the Americas department at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston.
I have a website, adrienneart.net, and an Instagram account, @shishkoadrienne, where upcoming shows will be posted. Please sign up for my emails on my website and follow me on Instagram. People can support my art by supporting the arts in general in Boston, come to art openings to see and engage with lots of art. Cultivate your taste by giving yourself time to get to know the Boston arts community and try to buy art from local artists.
- Website: adrienneart.net
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: @shishkoadrienne
Adrienne shishko and emma gelbard