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Public Artist

Talking Artscape, murals, and moving on with BOPA's Gary Kachadourian

Frank Klein
Gary Kachadourian says he does some of his best thinking--and drawing--on the bus.
"Trash Container," one of Kachadourian's series of life-size prints he draws on paper then enlarges to mammoth scale.
A detail of "Motors Installation," a collection of doodle drawings Kachadourian has been creating since he was in junior high school.
Frank Klein

By Tim Hill | Posted 8/12/2009

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CP: Tell me about what you're going to study.

GK: I've been making art since I've been here, so I'm looking at making art. What I'm really looking at is doing almost exactly what I'm doing now without . . . kinda separating myself from the budgeted projects and pure administrative work. So things like the boarded-up building project may still happen. I may still be doing a project like that next winter. Zero-budget projects where there's no guidelines or aspirations or, you know, known outcomes, I plan to do 'em. I'm curating a show that'll open in January, and I just started a new Flickr site where I'm collecting people's doodles, so if you doodle, send them to me.

So I'm still planning on doing that stuff, and I'm still planning on doing my own artwork, which these days is drawing-based stuff, which is drawing stuff to scale. And what I [found] is making enough art and doing my job kinda works, but getting my work out beyond just showing a coupla times in Baltimore a year, there wasn't time. At some point you want to formalize what you're making and push it to a larger audience, whatever audience you're going to get. So that was the big issue.

To some extent, I was finding in my job that maybe I'd done the cycle enough times that I wasn't going to be able to surprise myself next time, and partially the art was starting to take a little more time and push the job over to the side. Other things, too. The kids are out of school so I didn't have to make as much money for the first time in a lot of years. I can live relatively cheaply. Not that this is a high-paying job, but it pays well. I always thought I was overpaid. (laughs) When you're working with people who are scratching by, you feel really guilty when you're making something that resembles a salary.

What I was doing I felt like was important, but it's a good time for someone else to do it.

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