Our exhibition of artwork by the art faculty of Southwestern Illinois College is now open through February 26th. Sculpture, painting, ceramics, drawing, digital images, photography, and mixed media all show the diversity and talent of the faculty artists.
The faculty is not spared from our intern Kailey’s interviews. Below, Brad Eilering answers her questions.
When did you know the arts were what you wanted to do, long-term?
Immediately after visiting the Musée Rodin in the spring, 2011, I knew my connection to fine art was deeper than superficial.
What inspires you the most?
Artists that explore their passions through hard work and dedication inspire me to advance.
What is your current favorite medium?
My artistic practice includes drawing as an investigation of form/value then advancing the work through sculpting or painting. Currently, I am sculpting the figurative form in clay and casting in plaster.
When you’re working, what do you listen to, if anything?
This depends entirely on my level of concentration. Beginning with investigation of form/value – no music, total concentration on comprehending the form in the round and the layout of the composition. Blocking in the forms – still no music, yet beginning to have fun. Bringing the totality of the work together – at this point the work is totally enjoyable and I often listen to music to suite my mood: the Killers, REM, the Shins, Tom Petty, Pink, etc.
What piece are you most proud of?
The last work to be sold always makes me the proudest.
Not to be morbid, but what would you like to be remembered for?
As an excellent instructor with a genuine passion for learning, whose multi-disciplined artistic abilities have been an inspiration to many.
Have you ever regretted making something and showing it?
Never, I always work to advance my abilities and if someone doesn’t appreciate the work they simply fail to comprehend the significance. This is where communication (artist’s statements, titles, presentations) come into play. At the same time, I accept criticism, as an integral part of learning.
What is the best comment you’ve ever received?
In architectural school, I had an instructor literally destroy a sculpture during class, only to later praise the solutions that are no longer with us!
The same experience felt like the worst, at the moment my work was destroyed.
What would you like to accomplish within the next five years?
I would like to address the challenges of our time through public engagement on the regional level through sculptural exhibition. Yearly goals: to advance my portfolio with 6 sculptures, 10 paintings and 2 sketchbooks.
What’s your go-to snack when you’re working?
Protein bars and plenty of water.
If you could be anyone (Seriously, anyone. Past/present/future/nonexistent/existent. You get the idea.) who would you be and why?
I choose to be myself, and incorporate the best lessons from all sources; for what lies ahead may be history in the making!
Thanks again to Brad for answering our questions!