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Meet Angela Chvarak Jung

Today we’d like to introduce you to Angela Chvarak Studio.

Angela, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I’ve always loved art as a child and knew I’d be an artist one day. Being surrounded by Korean art around my home growing up helped fuel my passion for creating. The beautiful textures and colors in the textiles and objects around our home definitely kept my interest and imagination lively.

I had my start with ceramics when I was in undergrad at Clemson University in SC where I earned my BFA and majored in ceramics and painting. I continued my painting practice for 15 years, even while working various jobs throughout the years and earning my MPA focused in Arts Management from the College of Charleston. I moved to LA about five years ago to run a commercial art gallery, Subliminal Projects, owned by Shepard and Amanda Fairey, and now work as a senior gallery relations manager for Artsy.

Has it been a smooth road?
It wasn’t easy moving to LA after spending all my life in South Carolina. I didn’t know anyone here, and I actually had never even been to LA until I drove myself across the country and moved here for my job. It was a struggle to leave my family and all of my friends, although I started to run into people that I had no idea lived in LA and was making some really great friendships pretty soon into my first few months of living here.

I was super fortunate to move out here for a job as a gallery manager, but I’d always felt like my painting and art practice had taken a backseat throughout the many years I focused on the arts administration track of my career. That was always hard on me and I felt sad that I wasn’t making art regularly and felt like a big part of my life had something missing – the dream to be an artist all these years had fallen to the wayside while I focused on advancing my arts management career.

Then things really changed about a year ago – I had this sudden revelation that I should join a pottery studio and make ceramics again. It was scary to put myself out there after nearly 15 years away from ceramics and to start all over again. When I finally got to work, it was like riding a bicycle, I was hooked and obsessively producing pots!

Gaining experience through my arts management positions and living in Los Angeles surrounded by artists and the thriving arts scene has really helped me get back to my roots and see that it is possible to work as an artist. I’m proud to say in the last year I’ve set up my fully running ceramics studio in my backyard studio, and I spend all of my free time outside of my work with Artsy making ceramics.

We’d love to hear more about your work and what you are currently focused on. What else should we know?
My business is really just me, a one-woman show with a little help from my husband Nik (he definitely deserves credit – he’s building my display pedestals for my first upcoming market in Los Feliz). This past year has been filled with many hours and days of research on how to set up a business, so I’d definitely say that I’ve put my heart and soul into my studio.

All of my ceramics are meticulously handmade by me from start to finish, and many steps are taken for each and every object that I create. I’m always so excited to see the results of a final product, a functional piece that someone can hold and use daily in their lives and homes.

I have so many ideas for things that I want to make and experiment with, so I don’t always stick with the same “tried and true” objects. I would say that I am a bit different from some ceramicists and pottery studios because I don’t always have a consistent batch of the same product being produced and offered regularly. Maybe it’s because I’m such a small operation that when I am making, I really want to make the most of my time and only make what I want to make. I like to keep things fresh! If I didn’t appeal to my curiosity for change and exploration, I’d probably lose interest in the monotonous creation of the same wares over and over again. But never say never, perhaps I’ll find something that really captures my attention for a lengthier timeframe one day, but for now, I love to explore and conceive new ideas of forms and colors.

Since I’m also a painter, my paintings and ceramics definitely have some overlap in their aesthetic qualities. I’ve always created abstract paintings and been a huge fan of lots of vibrant color. I like to think that my art matches the energy that I put out into the world. I’ve also been told my abstract paintings have a musical vibe, which makes me happy because I’m constantly listening to music which keeps me in tune with my emotions, memories, and sometimes helps with motivation to keep me creating.

Is our city a good place to do what you do?
As I said earlier, Los Angeles is a fantastic place to be an artist and work in the arts. Sometimes the city can be a little overwhelming (so I do a lot of outdoor adventures and camping trips with my husband), but LA has really served as an amazing incubator for artists and creatives. I love the energy of LA’s collaborative arts environment, and I truly believe it’s helped me recognize that anything is possible. Art is thriving right before my eyes, so I’ll just let myself enjoy it and thrive alongside everyone else!

I would totally recommend anyone starting out in an art career to move here. LA’s nourished my career in the arts, and it’s really shown me some magical moments, so I can only say positive things about my growth as an artist and arts manager in the last five years of living here.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Nikolaus Jung

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