Today we’d like to introduce you to Seth Apter.
Seth, we’d love to hear your story and how you got to where you are today both personally and as an artist.
Unlike many creatives, I never carried the dream of being an artist. In fact, I was not interested in making art as a child and young adult, although I was always an art lover. Instead, I entered the art world in a very serendipitous way. In 2000, I was traveling in Vancouver, Canada and ran across a gallery that I was drawn into. I found the artwork – textural and abstract mixed media – absolutely mesmerizing. I asked the person at the gallery about the artist and it turned out that she, Patricia Larsen, was both the gallery owner and the artist. I bought several small pieces and returned to my “real life” back in New York City.
A number of weeks later, I received a postcard from Patricia thanking me for buying the art. It was handmade and a work of art itself. I decided to thank her in kind and made a handmade postcard to send back to her — the first “piece of art” I had made in many, many years. She did me the favor of making and then mailing me another small piece of art. And again, I made and sent her one. Over time, this exchange continued and the work got bigger, badder and better. I had not known the label at the time, but we were exchanging mail art, something we did for several years. This whole process was an informal art education for me and completely changed the direction of my life, propelling me into the world of art.
We’d love to hear more about your art. What do you do and why and what do you hope others will take away from your work?
I refer to myself as a mixed media artist and work in a variety of media. I work on board, paper, canvas, and metal. Much of what I make can be hung like traditional art but I also make artist books, journals, installation art, and free standings assemblage. I often integrate found and altered objects into my work. Despite creating quite diverse projects, they typically share the qualities of texture, layers, and dimension.
I am inspired by many different sources and tell many stories through my art but the concepts of time, change and aging often play a role in my pieces. My work is also usually directed by the materials I use. I never have a finished idea in my mind when I start a new piece. Rather, I simply begin and let the layers tell me what they need. The process of mixed media often takes me to unexpected places – often as a result of a “mistake” – and I find this quite exciting.
I have also channeled my creative energies into other areas of art. As a designer, I work with a number of companies to develop several lines of art products including paint, stencils, stamps, and texture mediums. As an instructor, I teach at Pratt Institute in NYC and internationally at studios, art schools, and shops. And as an author, I have published 2 books and many workshop videos with North Light Media.
Artists face many challenges, but what do you feel is the most pressing among them?
The world of art is changing rapidly, especially as the Internet has in many ways taken the place of the traditional gallery system – which itself is rapidly evolving. Keeping up with these changes, while still focusing on making work, is certainly a challenge.
The beauty of the Internet is all the possibilities that it offers in terms of promotion, community, and access. However, the ease at which one can upload art and present oneself as an artist means that it is becoming harder and harder to be noticed in the sea of creativity out there. And as soon as one master the latest social media platform, it is often no longer the site of choice and you have to start again.
Do you have any events or exhibitions coming up? Where would one go to see more of your work? How can people support you and your artwork?
You can find my work on my website www.sethapter.com. I have gallery pages sharing much of my art and an online shop where some of my work can be purchased directly. You can also see my work on Instagram, Facebook, and YouTube, and those links can be found on my website.
My work can also be seen at a variety of art fairs and gallery shows. In 2017, I exhibited at both The One of a Kind Show in Chicago, the ArtExpo in NYC, and several private galleries in New Jersey. In 2018, I completed an indoor art installation at Mable Dodge Luhan House in Taos, New Mexico andmy work was exhibited at The Other Art Fair in Brooklyn, NY. In 2019, I was a Piano Artist for Sing for Hope, painting a piano that was first installed in a NYC park and then donated to a school.
- Website: http://www.sethapter.com
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/sethapter/
- Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/seth.apter
All photos by Seth Apter