In Studio | Dáreece Walker
Meet Dáreece Walker and hear about his unique artistic practice.
Walker is a visual artist from Colorado Springs currently living in Brooklyn, NY. He creates figurative narrative paintings, drawings, and sculpture that combine race, identity and religion into socio-political responses. Dáreece’s work speaks on the Black experience, often pulling from personal stories about his upbringing. In the midst of the rising conversations around Black Lives Matter and the deeply complex history of police brutality, Walker’s work is relevant and poignant, acting as a tool for social activism and education.
His work has been featured in the New York Times, the Washington Post, and Hyperallergic. Recent shows include, ‘Respond’ at Smack Mellon Gallery in Dumbo, the 10th Annual Governors Island Art Fair, Prizm Art Fair in Miami and ‘Black is the Giant’, a Solo Exhibition at the Long Gallery in Harlem, among others.
Q&A with the artist
Q: Thank you for visiting with us. How are you doing? In this state of social distancing all of our lives and schedules have been altered. How have you made adjustments?
DW: Thank you for including me in this program. Though 2020 was a difficult year, I was able to find good opportunities and some positive outcomes. Mostly I have used this time of social distancing to create more art in the studio.
Q: Following that, what does your upcoming year’s agenda look like? Do you have exhibits or new works we can look forward to seeing?
DW: This year I will have a two person show at Kent State University in Ohio titled “Nurturing, Positivity, and Strength” exploring the role of Black Fathers in America January 21- March 13, 2021. I will be teaching drawing at the School of Visual Arts NY this semester as well. I plan to curate several interactive digital art shows for Livinglifefearless.co, as well as podcasts and interviews. I am creating new work in both my Black Fathers Matter Series II and my Our Angels series, so stay tuned and follow me on instagram for new art posts @ArtistDWalker.
Q: Could you speak about your experience as an artist what it was like moving your practice from Colorado to New York?
DW: For me moving to a major city with more art opportunities was necessary to pursue my dreams. I got accepted to the School of Visual Arts MFA program and made the commitment. The first year getting adjusted to the city is wild and fun and intense, but as the years go by you realize you are living in a place where certain amazing things only happen in the Big Apple. Looking back at my time in Colorado I feel spoiled by the beautiful mountain landscape and the access to more space, but now living in Brooklyn the Manhattan cityscape replaces the mountains and inspires me in a different way.
Q: Talk briefly about classes you’ve taught or are teaching and what that has been like.
DW: I taught anatomy drawing and foundational drawing courses for the first time last fall of 2020. It was a fantastic yet difficult experience that I enjoy learning from. Due to Covid-19 courses are online, so there was a challenge to teach drawing in this new media format.
Q: In our current state of isolation, do you find yourself leaning into anything that provides strength and support to you? Music, podcasts or other artists work perhaps?
DW: Music and podcasts have definitely help get me through this year of isolation. I actually started investing and got pretty addicted to the stock market, I’m grateful that I had the time to learn how to make money investing.
Q: What advice would you give to up and coming artists?
DW: My advice is keep creating! Always be thinking about new ideas and keep pushing yourself. Try things that seem difficult and make sure you submit to grants and galleries etc.
Q: Could you walk us through a “typical” day in the studio with you? How do you start your day?
DW: First thing I do in the morning is have a tall cup of espresso coffee. I go to the studio and get relaxed before I start working. I’ll watch some YouTube videos and then start searching for new music. I like to find new albums to listen to while I work.
Q: What has been your most favorite piece that you have created? Why?
DW: That is a tough question. I think my favorite piece I created is always the next piece I’m working on. My excitement for new work is hard to look past, so I would say the pieces I’m creating right now in the Our Angels series.
Q: What is inspiring you right now?
DW: To be honest I am currently inspired by the encouragement I received last year by selling artwork and entering two public collections in the process. The collectors interest in my ideas give me courage to explore my ideas further. I am inspired by the hard work that lead to these recent accomplishments because it lets me know I am on the right path.
Q: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk. Is there any final thoughts or words of encouragement you’d like to share?
DW: There is courage in failure, so no matter the ups and downs keep challenging yourself and don’t let criticism hold you back.