77 Monument Street
Acrylic & mixed media on canvas
Jason DeWaard lives in West Medford and works as a media technician
at the Graduate School of Education at Harvard University. He considers
himself foremost a musician, setting time aside daily to practice
his technique, collaborate with other musicians and artists, record,
and create. While studying music at Berklee College of Music in
the early ’90s, his art history professor inspired him to create
visual art. He’s been experimenting, layering, creating, and
assembling ever since.
In his career as a media technician, he’s responsible for repairing
and retiring old technologies as they become obsolete. He’s
fascinated by how mechanical things work and by the beauty of their
parts. He salvages parts from broken equipment to incorporate into
his work, removing them from their original context and function to
redefine their meaning and purpose. The ideals of reuse and recycling
play a large role in his life both inside and outside of the studio.
My approach to painting is like this:
I enter the process with the best intensions, have a general
plan, and then hope for the best. My aim has always been
to create work that appears to have movement and depth and
live in the moment, much like the process of improvising
on an instrument. At times I feel totally absorbed in the
moment and I’m willing to take
risks that I wouldn’t normally, and the results can be
inspired or not—the trick for me is to keep playing through.
Painting gives me an outlet difficult to replicate musically;
the opportunity to create something at my own pace and return
to rework it.
Over the years I have been experimenting with
using found objects, mostly old electronics and mechanical pieces,
building assemblages on canvas. However lately, I have been interested
in working with more textural mediums and muted colors. I have also
been working with rusting metal and oxidizing copper using various
chemicals and solutions to get different forms of change in color.
The range is much more subtle than a full color palette but it is just
as interesting and exciting in a way because you never really know
how exactly it is going to behave. My interest in this was sparked
when I began working on motorcycles and seeing these metal parts that
we have manufactured to be incredibly durable and withstand enormous
torque and speed, are still subject to having a life span. The main
factor in shortening this life span is water, usually mixed with salt
and maybe dirt. Three rather harmless elements to humans, can render
metal completely useless in a few years. It reminds me that even
the strongest things we can create can be worn away and dissolve
over time… for better or worse.