Meet the Artist – Artexpo New York Spotlight...

Meet the Artist – Artexpo New York Spotlight Recipient: Resurrect Studio

Artexpo New York Spotlight Exhibitor, Resurrect Studio, consists of Co-Founders, Jean Davis and Nancy Wu. The 47th edition of Artexpo New York runs from April 4-7 at Pier 36.

Q: Introduce yourself — who you are and what is your vision as an artist?

A: We are Resurrect Studio Co-Founders, Jean Davis and Nancy Wu. Having met 8 years ago, we feel like we are 8 as well. Accordingly, we don’t think of ourselves as taking full responsibility for the formation of our glasswork, but rather, we are vehicles for what the art has come to be. We journey to a century-old landfill in Brooklyn to pick up glass fragments percolating into the bay. Our art is an excavation of the collective unconscious from Victorian-era New York City seen in today’s light.

Q: What is your background?

A: JD: I’m an artist in my heart and an art therapist in my psyche. I’ve worked for decades as a licensed art therapist in medical and psychiatric facilities as well as in private practice. I’ve been making art my whole life and did my undergraduate studies at the School of Visual Arts. Through a long commitment to art and art therapy, I’m now a Full-Time Professor at Pratt Institute, a therapist in private practice, and with gratitude — Co-Founder of Resurrect Studio with Nancy.

NW: I have an English literature degree with a master’s in architecture. I began oil painting shortly after my daughter passed suddenly in 2016 at age 13.  To keep my chin up, I surrendered to a variety of things to heal me. Making art was one of them. Jean helped usher me through the unimaginable. Our families grew closer through the grieving process and the healing space that emerged evolved into Resurrect Studio.

Q: What is your work philosophy and how does that impact your work?

A: JD: Many technical approaches are effective when conducting psychotherapy, but it’s the clients we love that are helped the most. This is also true when making art. When I put my full heart into creating, the work transcends me.

NW: Our art benefits from the gusto of 2 creatives with post-menopausal zest. In our collaborations, we’ve noticed that Jean tends to create innards, and I love to ground them and consider how they touch the sky. We’re both ever mindful of capturing negative space as well as a landing pad for the eye to be still. This is essential to an artist’s hospitality; they must allow the viewer to just be.

Music and dance have a group component built into them, but less so in the visual arts. Two sets of eyes are better than one in this kind of art making especially when we can grab a critique. When it gets to be too much admin and not enough making, one of us will call pencils down, turn on some dance tunes, and remind the other to “get clinking.”

Q: What artist(s) inspire you?

A: JD: I love art that takes me away from me! Some artists and their work do this for me and each time I return I see through a new lens. There are many ways to travel through inner and outer space.

NW:  A resourceful sensibility inspires me, not necessarily precedence.  It’s the skillset for making fried rice from a wilted scallion, rice, and an egg.  Missionaries inspire me with their can-do attitude. For example, we have a nun friend, Ces, capable of fixing most things with #4 wire and/or duct tape.

My father is a tenor who trained in Rome.  Upon seeing a playful accordionist at our wedding, he launched into a duet, a fantastical display people still marvel at today.  The sincerity and spontaneity of his artistry have affected me profoundly time and again.  Retrospectively, my mother coined healthy neglect as her parenting style in raising 6 kids.  We were given ample space to be imaginative, yet I think we can all agree we were never far from her mind’s eye.

Although my bookcases are packed, for inspiration I rely on my bike to marvel at the beauty of trees in the clouds, something Jean and I do, and if that doesn’t help, I’ll cut open a red cabbage deferring to its staggering beauty to align me with what is.  Modest Mussorgsky attended an art opening by his friend and then went home to compose Pictures at an Exhibition. I’d love for us to do this for someone.

Q: What is the best advice you’ve received?

A: JD: My mom always said, “This too shall pass.”  The expression gave me great relief in stressful times.  She had a way of only gently fluttering in the midst of a storm. I think we offered each other very different perspectives which, (for the most part!), enhanced our relationship. I love that.

NW: Hum when you sweep. Be daring. Go for it.

Q: When you are not working, where can we find you?

A: JD: Good work is play and good play is work. Therefore, I am hopeful that you will often find me doing these things simultaneously with my family and friends while doing therapy and teaching students or while simply tinkering around. 

NW: Renovating the next phase of our house with my husband Bob and son Bo, who both have a surfs-up attitude for seeing art and travel.

Q: What does exhibiting at Artexpo New York 2024 mean to you?

A: JD: This venture is a very new and exciting opportunity as we/Resurrect Studio are only 3 years old!  Connecting with others through art is so pleasurable. It’s why working and playing in the studio with Nancy gives such pleasure to the artist in me. I believe this kind of reciprocity at ArtExpo New York will support our development and the development of Resurrect Studio.

NW: Let the games begin!

Hannah Smith is the Features Editor for Art Business News and Social Media Marketing Manager for Redwood Media Group. With a marketing expertise and passion for writing, editing, and all things social, Smith enjoys working creatively and bringing Art Business News stories to life.


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