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Daily Inspiration: Meet Amy Bouse

Today we’d like to introduce you to Amy Bouse.

Hi Amy, we’re thrilled to have a chance to learn your story today. So, before we get into specifics, maybe you can briefly walk us through how you got to where you are today?
It was not until I was in college that I recognized my need for painting. I studied Literature and Art History before I began making my own work. As a longtime public high school educator, I believe that my studio practice is informed by working with young artists. I like hearing their questions, their approaches to different situations. During the pandemic, daily studio time became especially important.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
The pandemic and its aftershocks register differently where I live (Inglewood) from where I teach (Santa Monica).

Thanks – so what else should our readers know about your work and what you’re currently focused on?
“Here and There” emerged from a renewed correspondence after two decades of silence. During the pandemic, a high school friend reached out to me from China, where he teaches English language students. I teach teenagers in California. As adolescents, we were both enamored with reading, music and exploring new ideas. We exchanged letters during college and trips. Now, the idea of handwritten words directed to an audience of one seems both decadent and modest. This body of work reflects on the use of ink, words and marks as communication tools. Words sometimes seem fixed with certainty or less vulnerable to subjectivity. The book, as an object, has comforted me for as long as I remember.

In my most book-obsessed times, I mark in the fiction I read. These marks indicated things I cannot capture in words. There are books that changed me as an adolescent. I fear that if I revisit these dear texts, I will be disappointed in the words that I find. I rely on words to transport my mind to different experiences and areas of the world. Books formed my knowledge of China before I visited the country in 2016 on a Fulbright Hays teacher grant. Most of my reading consisted of fiction by Chinese and Chinese-American writers but one non-fiction book made a big impression of me: Jung Chang’s Wild Swans, suggested to me by a student from Shanghai. Wild Swans put 20th century China in context for me, helped me locate the primary events that shaped this superpower. In addition to illuminating details about the Mao era, this book gave me a better understanding of daily life during this period.

What do you like and dislike about the city?
I love the friendliness and sincerity of Inglewood. In this area, people recognize each other by saying hello or nodding. Inglewood feels more stable than other parts of Los Angeles County: the homes here share the same sense of scale. I hope that we keep a neighborhood feeling as the area continues to gentrify.

Contact Info:

  • Email: amybouse@gmail.com
  • Website: amybouse.com
  • Instagram: @amybouse @bouse_house


Image Credits:

All photos by artist

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