Artist of the Week: Seth Adelsberger

Seth Adelsberger is an artist based in Baltimore, Maryland.  He is also a co-director at Nudashank Gallery.

Tell me a little bit about yourself and what you do. I grew up in northern Maryland and have lived in Baltimore since graduating from Towson University in 2002. I make my living doing custom framing, making architectural models, and fabrication for local museum exhibitions. I am also co-director of Nudashank with Alex Ebstein and post the art of others on The Glaze.

How did your interest in art begin? I took some classes when I was 5 or 6 with a woman who was an illustrator for National Geographic.  She lived in a dark cozy house at the edge of the small town I grew up in. She was probably the only local artist who made a living off of her work.  She had large sheets of paper and pencils and markers in every color to draw with.  I feel like this access to such a range of colors and materials had a big impact on my early interest in drawing.

What materials do you use in your work and what is your process like? My approach has gone from a singular modernist painting practice to a more open ended conceptual approach.  My recent work is frequently made using found collage elements and/or construction techniques. Lately, I’ve been getting more satisfaction out of building things than working on “images.” Pieces usually come together very quickly.  It’s less of a process of exploring while making the work and more about setting aside a block of time to execute the idea.

What are some recent, upcoming or current projects you are working on? I don’t have any shows lined up at the moment, which is somewhat of a relief.  I want to get back to a place where I am making work without a specific show in mind and the work evolves a little more naturally. Nudashank has been my main focus over the past few years.  I view curation as an extension of my studio practice and this has changed the way I approach my work.

What artists are you interested in right now? Ian Pedigo, Torben Ribe, Noam Rappaport, Matt Connors, Ted Gahl, Jim Lee, Michael Williams, Henning Bohl .

What was the last exhibition you saw that stuck out to you? Michael Mahalchick @ CANADA.  I really liked his use of found materials and the Bruce Conner/Beat vibe of the assemblages.  A lot of this work was remnants of performances that happened throughout the duration of the show.

What are your thoughts about the art scene in Baltimore? Baltimore has been great.  I’ve been living and working here for over 10 years.  There are lots of artists and it’s only a short drive to DC, Philly, and New York.  Warehouse space is cheap and pretty easy to find.  You can get by on very little and have a plenty of time and resources to make your work.  The downside is that there aren’t enough galleries, and even fewer collectors.  Press and a written critical dialogue is almost non-existent.  However, the scene is really exploding right now and its exciting to be involved with the community here.

What is one of the bigger challenges you and/or other artists are struggling with these days, and how do you see it developing? Career longevity, maintaining my own interest, staying fresh and open.   The current churn of contemporary art is simultaneously stimulating and exhausting. So many ideas are accessible and unavoidably influential. Most art is seen only on the web these days.  A painting just needs to exist long enough to be documented and uploaded. The success of artists is increasingly reliant on how well their work translates as a jpeg.  It has been exciting to see more web-based artists build their career on the web then make the leap to big gallery shows, i.e. Jon Rafman, Artie Vierkant.