Welcome to Open Studio! Conversations on Art and Why It Matters

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In this new program, I’ll be talking to artists — mostly visual artists — about their motivation, their process, and their inspirations.

This inaugural episode is a visit with Cat Balco, a Connecticut-based artist who exhibits her paintings in New York City and teaches at Hartford Art School. I’m honored to call her my teacher.

When I asked her why, in these difficult times, making art is the most productive use of one’s time, she said, simply, “Art preserves what’s best about people.”

In her own development, as a student at Yale of the artist Robert Reed, she absorbed his teaching that “the work of painting is somehow related to the development of character” It’s a “mystical activity,” says Cat, a soul-nourishing activity.

Teaching, too, excites her – being present to her students and encouraging them along while carefully refraining from imposing her own ideas on their work.

Cat is the perfect artist to kick off Open Studio. You can find her work at her website Catbalco.com and at her gallery RickWesterFineArt.com. And see the previous post for photos.

“My Exploding Stars” by Cat Balco, 2019