Alex Michener is a Painting major at Ohio Wesleyan University. I had the honor of interviewing him on HIS BIRTHDAY!
Carianna Arredondo: Could you tell me about your internships?
Alex Michener: My internships, well– I’m working directly with two different artists as a studio assistant, one is Alexi Worth and one is Ellen Altfest. I’m doing everything from stretching and priming canvas to building and staging platforms for studio work.
CA: And have you always been a representational painter?
AM: Yes, I have.
CA: Did you start off drawing before you pursued painting?
AM: I did. I used to think I wanted to be a figure drawing major, but then I realized painting was more conducive to what I wanted to do.
CA: Have you always been landscape or a portrait artist?
AM: I’ve almost always been portrait and the figure—like, even during middle school/ high school I would sit in class and draw faces and the backs of heads.
CA: I know you’re doing landscape paintings while you’re here in New York, why have to decided to pursue this instead of portraiture?
AM: I got really into landscapes this summer—I took a trip, with a university class, to Italy for three weeks and my painter introduced my to artists that really enticed me.
CA: So, how are you spending your time here in New York outside of your internships?
AM: Well, how I’m spending my time here outside of my internships is—
CA: Literally outside.
AM: (chuckles) Literally outside, well, yeah. Whenever it’s nice outside and bright and not raining usually I’m either outside drawing or painting landscapes. If not, I’m here reading and hanging out.
CA: You’re a senior right? Do you think you’ll come back to New York post-graduation?
AM: Absolutely. I’m not sure how soon after graduation, but living in New York is definitely a plan of mine.
CA: What’s you’re career path after graduation? Teaching?
AM: Well many working artists teach and participate in residency programs, Alexi teaches over at Penn, but I think there can be a balance of the two.
CA: Do you so grad school in your future.
AM: Absolutely, yes.
CA: How has this program helped you understand and figure out your career path as a painter?
AM: I guess just being in the environment of a working artist and helping them through their, not only just their day-to-day issues, but talking to them about their trajectory and their purpose in life helps solidify what I want to do.
CA: What advice would you give someone thinking about partaking in this program?
AM: Diversify. It’s great working with two artists, but I think it’s very important to experience all aspects of the art world so even maybe reach out to a gallery or art magazine.
CA: Awesome. Now last question, where has been your favorite place to paint so far?
AM: So far?
AM: Well, there are two places. One is down on 8th and 23rd facing the café, but the one I just recently fell absolutely in love with is down by Canal and 6th. There’s all those funky angles in the streets and a lot of the building are really weird and great to work on and observe.
CA: Sweet, we’ll thank you for giving me the opportunity to interview you ON YOUR BIRTHDAY!
AM: No problem, thank you.