Artist Spotlight: Preston Singletary

Preston Singletary, an internationally renowned glass artist, and 2013 Fellowship recipient, spoke with us about how the COVID-19 crisis has impacted his work and daily lifeTraver Gallery recently presented a virtual exhibition of his workArtifacts from a Future Dream. See Preston’s work here

Preston is one of many artists that have been impacted by this crisis. To support artists like Preston and to learn more about Artist Trust’s COVID-19 relief efforts, visit us at https://artisttrust.org/covid-19-response/.

“I run a glass studio and I have 4 full-time employees. We are working at a distance, sharing the studio space minimally, while some can work remotely from home. This time of quarantine has created a fair amount of unencumbered time, devoid of assistants, working with fabricators, dealing with deliveries, attending meetings for public art, or any travel. It’s become an intense time of introspection and time to make art. This has been a time where we have been forced to be more reliant on each other and practice patience! Essentially, I’m living show to show. So, this will be a particularly challenging time. 

Personally, it’s a difficult time for my father right now who has been diagnosed with cancer. Currently, he lives independently and he’s electing to not undergo treatment due to his frailty and age. He wanted to have his quality of life rather than risk getting sick and weaker from chemotherapySo, social distancing is hard, because we’re encouraged not to have contact with elderly people. 

I’m hoping to keep my employees working and support them, as well as my family. Our neighborhood has banded together, and we visit with them briefly when we see them on walks around the neighborhood.  

In the face of this pandemic, I’m reminded of a discussion of eastern vs/ western culture, where someone from east or Asian culture can deal with being shut in a room through meditation. A person from the western world in isolation is claustrophobic and seeks every way to get out. I feel that this time of deep reflection for artists and we as artists deal with solitude all the time. Once we clear our minds of unnecessary noise and chatter is when we find new ideas and creative processes.”