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Travis LaMothe '10

Travis LaMothe received his B.A. in Studio Art at DePauw University in 2010, where we was awarded a fifth-year Arts Internship. While completing his M.F.A. at Southern Methodist University, he participated in group and two-person shows in Dallas, Fort Worth, Austin, and Philadelphia. LaMothe’s focus in sculptural work that confronts the ways taste is created in our domestic space helped land him a student award from ISC’s Sculpture Magazine in 2012, followed by a postgraduate fellowship from Juvenal Reis Studios in New York. In Dallas, LaMothe is represented by RE Gallery.

Q: What have you been up to after DePauw?  What is keeping you busy?

A: Graduate school, growing up, and then trying to grow back down.  As I write this, summer is coming to a close, which means the end of my quick break from art and teaching.  After 3 solo exhibitions to kick off 2014, I've been focusing more on cooking and automotive work lately.  That's all going to slow down, as will the traveling and swimming, as I resume teaching and get myself back in my studio.

Q: What and where will you be teaching this fall?

A: This fall I am teaching advanced sculpture at University of Texas, Arlington.  That adjunct course is one of three jobs.  I work most of my hours for Barry Whistler Gallery in Dallas, as assistant director.  I also design exhibition collateral for the Pollock Gallery at SMU.

Q: What's the most important part of your studio practice?

A: The most important part is probably judgment and humor.  As well as knowing myself.  I need to know how to poke fun at my own tendencies, because it's what keeps me from overcooking them, both in my self and in my work.

 Q: In 2013, your forms address their expected functions in a calm, almost meditative way.  In 2014, there's the same formal care but the work is also funny.  I know nothing kills a joke more than having to explain it, but ... how did the humor sneak into the work; was it a reaction, an accident, a discovery?

A: Great question.  I became a bit bored with the disparity between myself and my work.  I enjoyed making fun of things, judging situations, evaluating objects on a spectrum of viable to unlikely to hilarious.  Berating strangers' use of language and design in public spaces.  This judgment and a crass application of humor became almost necessary for quickly "seeing" other objects.  Humor is a great way to cultivate a language around the things we see, and always carries with it some form of evaluation.  Its allowances for quick judgment with multiple meanings was an access point for viewers build a language around my work.

Q: Why did you decide to take studio classes at DePauw?

A: I fell asleep during a Management Fellows lecture after staying up all night working on a sculpture.  I left directly from there to change my major from economics to art.  I know that sounds really romantic, but it's the truth.  There wasn't a lot of fear to overcome about my future as an art major--there was some, but it came from a very naïve place.

 Q: Any advice for art students?  What should current studio art majors know?

A: Be less serious.  Embrace the computer.

Travis LaMothe Web