Sunday, October 5, 2014

Small Spaces: 5 Questions with Pete Brown

If you've been reading our blog for a while, you're probably already familiar with our friend Pete Brown. Zach reviewed Pete's solo show at the Arts Council in 2012, and later that year, we were constantly constantly writing about and thanking Pete for his help with the SR 43 Robot mural. Pete was also a part of the New Works show at Artists' Own last year. And, just so you know, Pete's an awesome cook. When Pete and his family still lived in town, we were so fortunate to be invited over for dinner every so often!

pete brown

Pete has been so integral to the Small Spaces project since the very beginning, and it is only through his connections that we've managed to managed to secure the participation of the out-of-town artists. He is also putting together a really great multimedia information bank for Small Spaces on the Piggyback App that the public can download and use for free. Check it out and download the app here

For Small Spaces, Pete painted three pieces that you can find on Main Street,

pete brown

the side of the Bernadette's Barbershop wall,

pete brown

and on the Haywood Printing Company.

pete brown

We e-mailed Pete a list of 5 Questions, and here are his answers.

1. What is your background in art?

Oh, I’m really a hobbyist that got swept up into the glamorous world of art about 6 years ago. My background is in education, I’ve always loved to create and minored in art in college, but didn’t have ‘real’ plans to use it.

I worked in a museum for just under a decade in a couple of capacities, and seeing the different artists pass through and the work they were doing, inspired me to give it a shot professionally. Sort of an ‘If they can do it, so can I!” sort of thing.

The rest is Facebook history I suppose.

2. What is your (brief) definition of street art?

Street art is any artwork that was intentionally placed outside so that I can experience it from the street. I feel that ‘street art’ is an umbrella term for many sub-forms of art, and that there are many general misconceptions about it. The more we can get out there, the more we can educate the public!

3. Who are your influences and inspiration?

Douglas Miles is a contemporary artist from Arizona, who happens to also be Apache. He owns Apache Skateboards and is all over the place; lots of projects. He was the first artist whose work I was really interested in learning more about. Doug’s works seemed really accessible to me and were very tied to both the contemporary and traditional aspects of his culture. He was the reason I first wanted to explore stenciling. Over the years I’ve been able to spend time with him and his extended artist crew, and they’ve been very gracious with their knowledge and are great artists and people. Typing this reminds me that I need to call him soon…

Beyond that, I’m very inspired by a host of graffiti artists from around the country, street artists of all sorts and of course I’ve been inspired by the OG stencil guys that are huge now; Blek le Rat, Shepard Fairy and Banksy. I’m very interested in Warhol too; both artistically and as a multifaceted businessman.

4. How do you think Small Spaces contributes to the art scene in Lafayette?

I think that SS gives folks like me (folks in their 40s and younger) a reason to explore downtown and get off Main Street for just a few minutes. It adds an interesting visual element to some forgotten spaces and through the mapping and mobile app, really becomes an interactive and engaging way to open the community’s eyes to more than the typical places they’ve always congregated.

I feel that there are a handful of pieces in this collection that are going to push the local artists to strive to become better and that will also attract out-of-towners to come see what they’ve got going on. This will also, hopefully, attract some new artists to come through town to create.  

NO ONE was coming to Lafayette to see art before this, but I believe that will change through this initiative and hopefully subsequent years of Small Spaces will give folks a reason to return. I also hope that it will inspire some local businesses to support a more diverse contemporary art scene; perhaps even open a new gallery or two.

5. Where (online or otherwise) can we view more of your work?

My work can be seen at ‘Pete Brown’s Art’ on Facebook

Also my website

In person at my studio/gallery space, 3040 Indie, in Indianapolis

pete brown

p.s. read the 5 Questions interview with Lisa Wicka here, and Aaron Bumgarner here.

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