When I Skyped Austin Danson to interview him for this article, he was painting.
The window blinked open to reveal the somewhat fuzzy image of a wild-haired artist bent over his paper, a long Chinese Sumi brush held carefully in one hand.
“Look!” he said excitedly, holding the half-painted paper up to the camera, “It’s my newest creation!”
After graduating Laguna Blanca in 2011, Danson began a major in art at Westmont College. One year later, he landed his first art show at the Bella Rosa Gallery.
The show, “And Sometimes, I Dream,” features Danson’s thrown ceramics, ink paintings, and carved stone sculptures.
“I’m drawn to mediums with honesty and permanence, like clay, stone, even with ink, there’s no erasing, no faking it.”
The show, which ended Jan. 31, had a dreamlike feel. Some pieces were tinged with a sort of dry humor, like the collection of wall-hung ceramic sculptures planted with moss and small houseplants.
Past the wall hangings, the show progressed into larger pieces. The walls hung with large ink paintings of re-imagined chrysanthemums, and giant lotus leaves. Ceramic vases and stone sculptures stood neatly on pedestals nearby.
Each piece was whimsical, yet rooted in a sort of unpretentious honesty that highlights the natural strengths of each medium.
Danson is currently planning on collaborating with LBS art instructor Mr. Dug Uyesaka. “The possibility of showing with [Mr. Uyesaka] is incredibly exciting and the exhibition should provide an interesting opportunity to see the ways we have learned from each other as well as the different paths we have taken within relatively similar frameworks.”