Briefly describe the work that you do.
I create abstract work that portrays reality for people to perceive it.
At what point in your life did you decide to become an artist?
When someone told me I could.
Tell us a little about your background and how that influences you as an artist.
My mother has always been a kind individual. She taught me sense and sensibility. She dabbled in oil as a medium throughout my uprising. My father is a mechanical engineer. A driven man, deadlines push him and his creative process in extraordinary ways. I had worked by his side for many years as a young one. The integration of these two has made me.
What types of conceptual concerns are present in your work? How do those relate to the specific process(es) or media you use?
The work does not exist for its own sake; rather, its purpose is catalytic and interactive to make the viewer aware of oneself as a perceiving, contemplative subject inside a particular time and place – a space which has been altered in such a way as to make the general environment more conspicuous. Through these forms I enhance conversations that ultimately influence the well being in oneself. The work dispenses the tacit patterns of human ritual and communication through small movements that are both inconsequential and profound.
We once heard Chuck Close say he did not believe in being inspired, rather in working hard everyday. What motivates you in your studio practice?
First thing, a hot cup of joe, black as midnight on a moonless night. The second is a cold brew from the great state of Wisconsin at the end of the day. Finally, Every day, once a day, give yourself a present. Don’t plan it. Don’t wait for it. Just let it happen. – some text taken from Dale Cooper, Twin Peaks.
What artists living or non-living influence your work?
Dan Graham, Fred Sandback, and collaborative duo Annica Cuppetelli and Cristobal Mendoza
When you are not making art what types of activities and interests do you engage in?
I find myself interested in activities that are always providing me with new perspectives. Rock climbing takes me to various places and continually provides new challenges and techniques to overcome with every route. Trying new foods and experimenting in the kitchen also comes with a certain creative challenge that I enjoy. Less challenging but equally enjoyable is the search for a delicious fermented beverage.
Zachary Betts studied at the University of Wisconsin – Stout where he received his BFA in Painting. He currently works and resides in Menomonie, WI, where he is still an active member of the Fine Arts Association and continues to push forth opportunities for emerging artists within the community. He was selected as an installation intern for the Soap Factory non-profit gallery stationed in Minneapolis Minnesota for Resonating Bodies, 2013. Betts has exhibited nationally, including galleries at Arizona State University in Tempe, AZ and DeVos Art Museum of North Michigan University in Marquette, MI. He has been awarded a scholarship to study at Anderson Ranch Arts Center based out of Snowmass Village, CO. Betts’ work has been featured in various publications including University of Wisconsin – Stout’s Prometheus, the Institute for Humanities Research department of Arizona State University, and is a selected artist featured in the 2014 issue of Studio Visit Magazine.
All images copyright of the artist and used with their permission.