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Meet Alexandria Wallace

Today we’d like to introduce you to Alexandria Wallace.

Thanks for sharing your story with us Alexandria. So, let’s start at the beginning and we can move on from there.
It all began with one heart shape, two arms, two legs, two eyes and a small “u” shaped smile. Little creatures made of a series of lines- heart people. My mom encouraged me to keep making them. They gained the attention of my extended family and friends as they adorned birthday cards and notes of gratitude. I have a chart of career goals that my teacher had us complete in the fourth grade. It says, “When I grow up I want to be a….” then there were spaces for you to fill in your job at 18, 20, 25, 30, and 40. A) What happens after 40? I think in my seat. B) Why do I need all of these blanks? I write artist in every single space to which my teacher says “think more critically” and I spitefully add the word “successful” before artist on the space for 40 years old. Great foresight and great news for my current self – turns out I have another decade to become a huge success. Fast forward a bit, I proceeded to study studio art at The University of Texas at Austin, then taught art for several years before pursuing my MFA in Painting at the Otis College of Art and Design in LA.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
All of my challenges tie back to one word: security. When I applied to schools for my undergraduate degree, I was nervous to commit to attending an art school and opted for a large state school- that way if I panicked I could switch my major to something practical like marketing. My parents were always fully supportive of my work as an artist, but their voices were drowned out by people asking “but what will you do for a living” or “what real job will you get?”. This desire for security has informed some of my decisions that delayed my ability to be fully immersed in my studio practice. One of those is that I chose to teach full time after leaving college. However, this is not a regret, simply part of the journey.

My time as a teacher was so formative in the way I view the world and my belief that a quality education is a powerful force all children should have access to. I told my students regularly that with grit and focus they could do anything they wanted- so I finally took my own advice and went back to school. Now I am on a constant journey to value my work, ideas and involvement in the contemporary art world over the security of a job the general public may understand more immediately. With that said, teaching will always be a love of mine, and I hope to return to the classroom in some capacity in the future. I also have my husband, Steve, to thank for being a non-stop cheerleader of my work. He believes in me more than I do, and that relentless support is a lightning bolt of positivity amongst the lies I can get trapped in occasionally.

Please tell us more about your art.
I am an abstract painter. My work is characterized by my interest in translating memory and experiences into an abstracted work on canvas. I am constantly shifting my specific mark making vocabulary. Currently, my pieces investigate sites around Los Angeles. I am drawn to the mundane elements in the city- layered paint, shadows, dappled light, the speed of cars and architecture. All of these elements are simplified and reduced into fragments and color fields that I construct into a painting. Ultimately, this process creates a new location to be dissected by the viewer. I am currently most proud of the collection of work I am displaying at Quibi in Hollywood.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Most of my favorite memories involve some sort of family project. No surprise there, given my life long interest of watching an idea come to fruition. My dad is a carpenter and my mom, although her background is in finance, is quite creative herself. This leads them to involve my sisters and I in just about every project we could handle. We painted our own bedrooms, we built furniture for our dolls, we sewed, the list goes on. They really taught us how to merge work and play. Nothing was off limits, we were encouraged to be creative and they validated lots of solutions and ideas. I realize now that is not so common, and I am thankful.

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1 Comment

  1. Alice Acheson Snow

    October 21, 2019 at 23:34

    Love this story. We are so proud of Alexandria and her wonderful work. Mom & Dad.

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