Curator’s Spotlight: Louise Jones “Ouizi”

This blog features a spotlight interview with Louise Jones “Ouizi” the curator for “Beyond the Pail: Mural Making and the Artistic Process,” an exhibition that explores mural-making and its artistic process. 

This exhibition is open until October 8th at the A2AC Gallery at 117 W. Liberty St, Ann Arbor, MI.

For more information about Ouizi, please visit her Website. Please visit the Beyond the Pail page to learn more about the exhibition and the artists.

Question: What are your passions? What inspires/thrives you?

Ouizi: I have always been inspired by small changes in the environment. I love watching the seasons change, and I love to see flowers come and go. I often look towards my friends and fellow artists for inspiration, as I love to see the world through their eyes.

Q: How did you transition from canvas paintings to mural making?

O: I moved from making mainly works on paper to show in galleries to making installations, sculptures, graffiti, and murals just for fun. My move to Detroit steered me away from pursuing an art career in the traditional sense and allowed me to explore my creativity thoroughly. Sadly many of the things I made during my first years in Detroit were dismantled or undocumented.

I was primarily inspired by living in communal and DIY spaces to explore different forms of art making.

Q: What were the initial thoughts or ideas for the exhibition? How did it evolve?

O: I knew I wanted to include muralists because I was approached through my involvement in the Ann Arbor Art Center’s public art program. I had a relatively limited timeline to put the exhibit together, so I chose to invite artists I knew had a solid preparatory process for their work. I wanted them to pull things from their archives in case they had no time to create anything new. I also felt that the mural-making process would be interesting to the public and something that doesn’t often get shown in a gallery setting.

Q: How did you choose the artists?

O: I chose artists that I have either worked with before, that I’m inspired by, or that have a strong presence in Michigan.

I also wanted to showcase various processes and make sure that each artist had something unique to contribute.

Q: Could you talk briefly about some of the works in the show?

O: Dr. Hubert Massey’s life-size sketches are some of the most exciting pieces I’ve ever encountered in my work as a muralist. Most artists work on a tiny scale compared to the finished product, but Massey creates huge drawings that are the same scale as the mural. Not only are they beautifully drawn, but they are also striking in their size.

Sal Rodriguez’s photographs were a nice departure from the other works in the show. Rodriguez has worked closely with artists and muralists through galleries and mural festivals, being able to capture intimate moments of the process that most people would never be able to see. He often spends hours with the artists in their lifts or streets, a crucial part of the mural-making process. The photo of HOW/NOSM with the spray paint on his nose is a great moment; usually, only the artist would see if they looked in the mirror after a long day of painting.

My contribution to the exhibit is a 1/32 scale model of a mural being painted. The piece was conceived because I have always enjoyed dioramas, and I wanted to illustrate the process in a creative, new way. I was able to find a 1/32 scale boom lift, which determined the size of the rest of the diorama. The wall is nonexistent, but the sketch is from a different project that has not yet come to fruition. The work is shown mid-sketch, with strings hanging from the roof with tape used to indicate the horizontal grid lines. This is how I would approach a mural of this size and shape.

Q: Besides working on Beyond the Pail, what other projects are you (or will be) a part of?

O: I have a big solo show in Nashville, Tennessee, with a gallery called ZieherSmith on October 27th. The work will be primarily on new canvases that have never been shown before.

For more information on Ouizi and her work, visit her Website and Instagram! Also, visit our Beyond the Pail Page to learn more about the Beyond the Pail exhibition and its artists!

Join our mailing list and follow us on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter to learn about upcoming events, classes, and exhibitions!

Comments are closed.