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Art & Life with Calhan Hale

Today we’d like to introduce you to Calhan Hale.

Calhan, please kick things off for us by telling us about yourself and your journey so far.
I am undoubtedly a product of my generation and where I come from. My mom’s side of the family has been rooted in Texas for over 100 years, and I grew up with creative, independent and individualistic female role models in my life. I also experienced a childhood that included the absence, rapid onset and eventually the constant presence of technology, which granted me access to the world beyond my home in Texas. In hindsight, I can definitely see how the combination of feeling a sense of rootedness in place and exposure to the constant flux of the world’s forward motion informed my sense of identity.

I received my BA in studio art from the University of Texas at Austin in 2016. After graduation, I decided to plant my creative roots in the Austin community, which greatly impacted my work. The decision to remain in Texas, as opposed to heading to New York as I had anticipated, called me to re-examine my identity as a Texan and reclaim the characteristics that I felt still resonated with my sense of self.

Can you give our readers some background on your art?
I make mid-large scale oil and acrylic paintings that explore the intersection and juxtaposition of place, culture, and identity. I utilize contrasting styles and techniques to reflect the various ways I encounter and apply information to my life, including nods to digital and analog, old and new, expressive and graphic, tradition and trend. In working with themes related to my identity as a native Texan, I strive to showcase contrasting icons and trends sourced from the world around me, whether from where I am from or from what I have encountered elsewhere, in conversation with each other to create declarations, and eventually artifacts, of the present self.

I hope that when people encounter my work, they see something familiar, perhaps something that they resonate with personally, but presented in a context that they weren’t expecting and that they find the work compelling and cohesive despite the juxtaposition of elements. The idea is that we are all the sum of an intricate and distinct combination of traits, interests, and experiences. People can contain multitudes of contrasting characteristics that are all true to who they are at once, and I love that!

How do you think about success, as an artist, and what do quality do you feel is most helpful?
I define success as following my creative intuition. If I create something that other people don’t resonate with as much, but intuitively feels right to me, then I still feel that that piece is successful! I use art as an expression of personal identity, so the most important thing I can do is be honest about who I am at the time that I make each piece.

What’s the best way for someone to check out your work and provide support?
You can see my work on my website calhanhale.com or on Instagram @calpaca.

Contact Info:


Image Credit:
Sydney Gawlik

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