“When I read a book, I forget everything else in a sense. I get wrapped up in the language and structure. I love reading because it makes me think about new things, a different way, at a different cadence. Painting feels the same way.”
Name: Clayton Colvin
Creative Industry: Visual Arts & Crafts
1. What does Creative Birmingham mean to you?
Creative Birmingham means discovery! -expressing and celebrating Birmingham’s unique and rich culture.
2. What would you like to see happen in Birmingham in the next 5 years?
The past decades have seen downtown experience a rebirth, and I find that really exciting. The Jones Valley Farm and Railroad Park are great examples of the city celebrating its history and creating a better future.
I hope that the Birmingham area continues to protect and provide responsible access to the natural beauty around us. We live in an amazing place that we need to take care of.
3. Your exhibition New Way To Forget opens January 23 at Beta Pictoris Gallery; what can you tell us about the exhibition?
This exhibition continues my work in drawing based abstract painting. The paintings try to bring together feelings of fragility, amazement, and thankfulness -things we all know! I hope people interact with my work the way I read books (paper books). It is a private, quiet experience that allows one’s world to become larger and more clear at the same time.
When I read a book, I forget everything else in a sense. I get wrapped up in the language and structure. I love reading because it makes me think about new things, a different way, at a different cadence. Painting feels the same way.
This exhibition is called “New way to forget”, which is a phrase I have been turning over for a few months. Abstract painting can be difficult to talk about, but I think “New way to forget” describes the way I approach each painting, trying to make each one fresh and individual. My last show at beta pictoris was titled “Sewing up the sea”, which I think functions in the same way. “Sewing up the sea” reflected an appreciation of magical realist writers like Kelly Link. “New way to forget” I also think is influenced by my recent reading adventures. In 2014 I read a lot of Cormac Mcarthy, Alexander Hemon, and was thinking about memory and how experiences are stored and drawn upon later, or change, or go missing.
4. This will be your third exhibition at Beta Pictoris; what keeps drawing you back?
Beta pictoris is full of positive energy, and it is a LOT of energy.
5. Why do you think it’s important to integrate arts in education?
The arts provide a more rich understanding of the world and our experience in it. What is the phrase, “We are all together, alone.”? In this culture of disposable “posts” and “likes” and “shares”, being able to actually be present and mindful in learning and teaching is very difficult, and relationships and communities suffer.
The nuanced discoveries that poetry or music or dance or painting can bring to an individual’s consciousness are immeasurable. I recently heard a podcast by Radio Lab where they discussed that the word “Blue” is not used in the odyssey and is just not in any ancient texts. They hypothesized that “blue” did not exist until humans were able to make blue paint, and then they owned it in a way. The arts help individuals and communities become more involved owners of their education and experiences.
6. What other local artists inspire you?
Pedro Luis Mayor, an inspiring pianist and butcher.