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Jason DeWaard
Site #29
77 Monument Street

Acrylic & mixed media on canvas

Biography
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.

Artist Statement
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.