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Meet Jim Neeley and Wisecracker Studio

Today we’d like to introduce you to Jim Neeley and Wisecracker Studio.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
I have had a keen eye for the way things should look since I was a child. I was far more interested in furniture arrangements and changing up paint colors of my bedroom than Little League or Cub Scouts. As a fine arts undergraduate in college focused on graphic 2 and 3 dimensional design I was influenced by one professor in particular. He gave me the knowledge, confidence and encouragement to handle all kinds of materials, challenged me to reach, look at things differently and who demanded polished results from any assignment he gave. His critiques were frank and eye popping but always constructive. My professional career has been centered around visual “stuff”. Spending 10+ years working in visual merchandising creating designer boutiques and window displays. Followed by opening an interior design business with my partner focused on hospitality and residential projects. These days I have the luxury to pick and choose design projects that speak to me. I and am now primarily focused on returning to my fine arts roots. My studio work is informed by the trillions of things I had the opportunity to see through travels, by my insatiable curiosity of culture, design and architecture and by the lessons I learned as an eager college kid from that sarcastic, demanding professor decades ago.

Please tell us about your art.
I create three-dimensional assemblages. The pieces I build press me to think like a graphic designer, use my hands like a finish carpenter, and obsess over the details. My academic and professional experiences helped me gain confidence in handling all kinds of materials and cultivated a fastidiousness in the way I execute my work and how I look at and approach anything visual. A blessing? Or maybe a curse.

I can’t wait to get into my studio every day for reasons that are admittedly self-indulgent: I am free to explore whatever themes interest me. There are many. The iconic design and culture of the 1970s. Bird’s-eye views of the rural landscape where I cycle. High/low architecture and design studied wherever I travel. Quirky things, irreverent things. Unrelated bits and pieces such as locally found objects and recycled stuff that I re-imagine and reorganize into meticulous, elegant tableaus, all neatly contained in handmade boxes. Superfluous details of the objects I incorporate into these pieces are “erased,” by layering coats and coats of monochromatic paints and plaster leaving just the essence of mundane elements. For the observer, I hope that my work pings a distant recollection, conjures a smile and also inspires a bit of self-indulgence.

Do you have any advice for other artists? Any lessons you wished you learned earlier?
Never stop being curious. Keep your eyes open. Never stop evolving. Hear the words of fellow artists about your work. Keep making art.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
A complete portfolio of my work and the work of my partner can be viewed on our website www.wisecrackerstudio.com. Our work was most recently on exhibit at a month long, two man show that ended August 24 at The Jan Brandt Gallery in Bloomington, Il. It has been displayed at America’s preeminent antique show in Brimfield, Mass. Wisecracker Studio is very new to the art scene and we are exploring other gallery settings and show opportunities. We encourage interested people to contact us via our website and through Facebook @WisecrackerStudio to learn more about us, our art and see where the work is being shown in the future.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Ken Kashin Photography

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