Will Stevenson is a resident of Red Bank New Jersey who has been doing creative work for most of his life. His art career started at age 14 in Mansfield Middle School (Mansfield, CT), when his Social Studies teacher, Richard Nagy, recognized a talent and suggested a creative project for academic credit. This was then realized by the painting of an historically themed mural on a classroom wall.
Dorothy Perloff, Will’s high school art teacher furthered the support by persuading the school board to further the practice of his receiving academic credit with routine assignments.
He exceeded expectations of the Board of two prestigious Art Schools, the Montserrat College of Art in Beverly, MA. (Montserrat.edu) and then the School of the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston, MA (smfa.edu) where Will chose to attend and graduated from in 1990. It was these early supports among academia that he credits for his success as an artist, and he is grateful for them.
In the ensuing years since graduating, Will has held many creative-based jobs such as the design, installation and maintenance of Japanese Gardens in New England. He has an avid interest in architecture and design and is currently working as a Graphic Designer.
In addition to drawing, he has pursued other mediums and favors working in mixed mediums to find the balance of expression best suited for the meaning of the piece.
Among the disciplines he has pursued are sculpture (in Ceramics and Steel) and painting (both Watercolor and Oil). Meaning in art has always been the central driving force behind his works. Making the world a better place has always been the hope that keeps him moving forward.
A little Q&A:
Q: Why make art, why now?
A: Because ideas come to me, and it’s my responsibility to bring out what’s inside to the extent that it could be useful to someone else. Creativity used to feel like work; nowadays it feels more necessary than ever. At the end of the day there is some degree of mystery to it all, one hopes to have beauty wash over us and refresh our spirits, I think we all can use that now. I have a need to express and experiment too, all of these pieces are experiments, and I’m fumbling around in the dark looking for a light switch.
Q: What does your art signify?
A: Reliance on the self; to ‘pull yourself up by your bootstraps’ as they say. America is about that to me, but not without a sense of belonging to a community (network?) of support and friends. I want to succeed and want the same for you. I think the question is can we all be individuals working to help ourselves without forgetting that our neighbors need to do well as badly as “I” do. I think art has a social function that is to bring us together when there are so many forces working to tear us apart these days. So I guess that’s an answer to your first question.
(in regard to March 2011 showing drawings @ Espresso Joe's, Keyport, NJ)
Q: Talk about the work, how were these pieces made?
A: The show is a mini retrospective, drawing has always been my foundation mode of expression as it is for many folks, so it made sense for my first show since graduating from art school to make it a drawing show, if I can manage it I plan to move back into sculpture and painting soon. The pieces start back as far as SMFA days shortly before graduating, and they span up to the present. The portability of drawing has made it an obvious choice; you don’t need much space, certainly not like sculpting. As far as the techniques used, some are done with mechanical pencil and some were pencil carved with a blade to sharpen, the difference of mark is dramatic as far as outcome, then the earlier works are a blend of mediums but mostly charcoal.