acrylic and sewing patterns on canvas
72 x 60 inches
Raised in the South, John Westmark’s first experience with artmaking was watching his mother draw on scraps of paper during long Babtist sermons. Today he is a painter who is interested in the metaphysical potential of unorthodox painting materials.
Currently he is using paper-sewing-patterns as the primary material of his paintings. It is with the sewing patters and paint applied directly to canvas that Westmark depicts figures in his work, including women of strength and courage. The sewing patterns used are reinterpreted from their usual functional to present the female figure as “an agent of revolt in the form of resolute warriors or within the controlled setting of the formal society portrait”. In many instances the identity of the figure is denied by wraps, bonnets and enshrouded faces. The denial of a specific identity suggests an ambiguity of viewpoint, an anonymous “everywoman”.
The women depicted in these paintings are no doubt fearless, independent and scandalous, and as the father of two young girls,” says Westmark, “I hope for nothing less.”
John Westmark’s work has been exhibited widely and is held in collections worldwide, including Collectors Contemporary, Singapore; the Council on Foreign Relations, Washington, DC; the Frederick R. Weisman Foundation in Los Angeles, and the Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE.
john westmark education: Master of Fine Arts, University of Florida Bachelor of Fine Arts, Kansas City Art Institute solo and group exhibitions: 2012 Solo show, John Westmark (January 7 - February 17) Atlantic Center for the Arts, Harris House gallery, New Smyrna Beach, FL Curator: Meghan Martin 2011 Curator: Cabeth CorneliusMaterial Matters Art Center Sarasota, Sarasota, FL (November 2011) Curator: Kim Anderson Preston Contemporary Art Center (May 2011) Mesilla, NM Curator: Paul Schranz Solo show, Double Bind (March 2011) Wynn Bone Gallery, Annapolis, MD Curator: Wynn Bone 2010 Under the Influence of Fashion and Finance: Selections from the Weisman Art Foundation Frederick R. Weisman Museum of Art, Malibu, CA (August 28 - December 5) Curator: Billie Milam Weisman Solo show, Flight (Oct 2010 - January 2011) Haskell Gallery, Jacksonville, FL Curator: Cabeth Cornelius Small Wonder JEMA Next Chapter Project Space Golden Thread Gallery, Belfast, Ireland (June 3-17) Curator: Sean Miller Solo show, Cut from Experience (May 28 - June 23) Randy Batista Gallery, Gainesville, FL New Works (May - July) Alan Avery Art Company, Atlanta, GA Curator: Alan Avery Solo show, Modern Myths (January - February) Miami International Art Fair (January 6 - 10) Chelsea Galleria (January 11 - February 8) 2009 Solo show, Southern Belles and Childhood Tales: New works by John Westmark (November) Second Row Studio, Birmingham, AL Curator: Greg Wingo, Roam Projects Solo show, Double Bill Collector’s Contemporary, Singapore (July – September) Curator: Dr. Alvin Koh Yellow vs Blue, Robert Lange Studios (April) Charleston, SC Sounding Out, Chicago Art Source gallery (March 6 - April 18) Chicago, IL, Curator: Erin Malysa jcostello Gallery, Hilton Head Island, SC (Feb-March) Curator: Judith Costello Florida Visual Art Fellowship Traveling Exhibition Curator: Amy Vigilante 2009 venues: University Gallery, University of Florida, Gainesville (Jan 6-Feb13) The Terrace Gallery, Orlando (Mar-May) 2008 Earth, Part Two: Terra, Featuring John Westmark Chelsea Galleria, Miami, FL (Dec 08-Jan 09) Curators: Tina Spiro, Dorothy Long Pushing the Envelope: New Concepts in Drawing & Painting Chelsea Galleria, Miami, FL (Sept 13-Oct 9) Curators: Tina Spiro, Dorothy Long Solo show, Schematica: New works by John Westmark Fusion Gallery / Perkins Center for the Arts, Collingswood, NJ (June 26-August 3) Curator: Cam Gilchrist Three Person Show Gallery Bienvenu, New Orleans, LA (June 5-July 20) Curator: Borislava Kharalampiev Solo show, Myth + Pattern: New works by John Westmark Chelsea Galleria, Miami, FL (Feb 6-March 18) Curators: Tina Spiro, Dorothy Long Florida Visual Art Fellowship Traveling Exhibition Curator: Amy Vigilante 2008 venues: Miami Dade College Gallery, Miami (Nov 07-Feb) Polk Museum of Art, Lakeland (Mar-May) Okaloosa-Walton College Art Gallery, Niceville (Sep-Nov) 2007 Art Miami, (Dec 5-9) Barely Legal, Chelsea Galleria, Miami, FL Curators: Tina Spiro, Dorothy Long Florida Visual Art Fellowship Traveling Exhibition Curator: Amy Vigilante Lighthouse Center for the Arts, Tequesta, FL (Aug-Sep) Under the Influence of the High Desert, Red Arrow Gallery, Joshua Tree, CA Curator: Katie A. Shaw Invited participant, Luck of the Draw (summer auction), Diverse Works, Houston, TX Curator: Diane Barber, Director: Gina Sonderegger Juror’s Choice: The Select, Thomas Center Gallery, Gainesville, FL Curator: Erin Friedberg Solo show, Flight Patterns, Chelsea Galleria, Miami, FL Curators: Tina Spiro, Dorothy Long 2006 Solo show, re-construct series, Studio 17 Gallery, Miami, FL Curator: Naomi Patterson American Diaspora, Victory Hall Cultural Center, Jersey City, NJ Curator: Keungsuk Sexton Cinco, Bering & James, Houston, TX Curators: Blakely Bering, Austin James Regional Juried Exhibition, Thomas Center Gallery, Gainesville, FL Juror: Rebecca Nagy Florida International Exhibition, FSU Museum of Fine Arts, Tallahassee, FL Jurors: Janice Hartwell, Kirsten Rae Simonsen Invited participant, Peace Tower, Whitney Museum of American Art, NY Designers: Mark di Suvero, Rirkrit Tiravanija 2005 Demise of Democracy, Orange County Center for Contemporary Art, Santa Ana, CA 7th Annual Abstraction Online Exhibition, www.upstreampeoplegallery.com MFA Thesis Show, University Gallery, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL Carrera Gallery, Flagler College, St. Augustine, FL WARPhaus Gallery, Gainesville, FL awards/publications/featured work: 2011 Pollock-Krasner Grant recipient Finalist, Arte Laguna Prize, Venice, Italy; Special Prize recipient from Galleria Gagliardi, Sienna and Studio Maffei, Milan Dave Bown Projects, 2nd Semiannual Competition winner 2010 Awarded Artist-in-Residence, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT (for July 2011) 2010 Awarded Artist-in-Residence, Vermont Studio Center, Johnson, VT (for July 2011) New American Paintings, Southern edition (June/July ‘10), The Open Studios 2009 Press 2009 Profile, “Artist Focus,” American Art Collector, December issue Review, Black & White, Birmingham City Paper, “Paper Dolls,” reviewed by: David Pelfrey Selected to exhibit with the Art in Embassies Program, US State Department, 2009/2010 Artist Talk, Collectors Contemporary, Singapore News Brief, Asian Art News, “Double Bill” Review, Charleston City Paper, Charleston, SC, reviewed by: Nick Smith Featured in Guernica/A Magazine of Art & Politics, New York Awarded Artist-in-Residence, Bemis Center for Contemporary Art, Omaha, NE Awarded Artist-in-Residence, Altos de Chavon Cultural Center, Dominican Republic New American Paintings, Anniversary edition, The Open Studios Press Review, Winter Park Examiner, Orlando, FL, reviewed by: Rex Thomas 2008 Review, Black & White, Birmingham City Paper, “Abstract Planes,” reviewed by: David Pelfrey Review, Gambit Weekly, “Debugging the Pattern,” reviewed by: D. Eric Bookhardt New American Paintings, Southern edition (No. 76), The Open Studios Press Featured in Wynwood, The Art Magazine, February, Vol. 1, No. 6 Studio Visit Magazine, Vol. 2, 2008, The Open Studios Press Review, Flavorpill Miami, “Myth + Pattern: New Works by John Westmark,” Omar Sommereyns 2007 Interview, Hi-Desert Star, Yucca Valley, CA Awarded Artist-in-Residence, Joshua Tree Highlands House, CA Creative Capital Professional Development Workshop Grant 2006 Florida Individual Artist Fellowship Review, Flavorpill Miami, “re-construct series,” reviewed by: John Hood 2005 Finalist, Dedalus Foundation Fellowship 2002 Featured in Florida Design, Vol. 12, No. 3