Artist Teresa Baker has spent her life living in different places — from small towns to big cities, stateside and abroad. Now she is making Beaumont her home.
“I have been here for three months, fixing up the studio, and I have fallen in love with it and all its eccentricities,” she said. “I wanted to be able to have a show to get to know the community better and also present my work to Beaumont in a tangible form, not just in images.”
On Nov. 14, she will open up her studio to introduce her art to Southeast Texas from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m.
Baker has shown in art galleries from San Francisco to New York, and focuses on changing works and materials from their original states to ones which spectators are no longer able to recognize.
“Essentially, I believe in my work as being a continuation — it is always about the same thing,” she said. “The material changes for sure — there is always new material investigations. However, the concept is always the same.”
For this show, Baker will pull works from 2013 to present. While the majority of the works were fabricated during her MFA studies at the California College of Arts in San Francisco, Baker said they are not to be categorized as a series or a period, but rather as a succession of previous works she has produced.
“I don’t believe that I do bodies of work,” she said. “Materially, I go through phases where I may work with felt for awhile, then felt and canvas, felt stretched, and now I am working with vinyl-coated mesh.”
For exhibitions, artists usually have little say in what works are chosen and how they are arranged in the space. Baker said this will be the first time that she has had the opportunity to curate her own show and the freedom to mix pieces from different years,
“I’m really excited to see what relations the works are going to create with each other and how they are going to look, what kind of dialogues they will create as the viewer bounces back and forth between the works,” she said.
While many of her works share common characteristics, such as type of material and large format, their similarity is not dependent on being a part of a series but rather because of the influence of the environment in which she lives.
Baker said she is indirectly influenced by environments in which she lives and works. Intrigued by the humid climate of her new home, she is looking forward to creating works that reflect the denseness of the air and other regional characteristics.
“I’m from the plainsland; it is open, spare and flat,” she said. “That is actually what has generally come out in my work and I think being raised in that area guided me towards that aesthetic in my work with objects.”
Baker moved to Beaumont to live with her partner Michael Mason.
“The one thing I am really curious about Southeast Texas is what the environment is going to do and how it is going to come into my process,” she said. “This environment, the air is thicker. Everything is thick here. I am curious and excited to see how it will change my work and to try something different.”
Admission to the studio opening is free.
Baker’s studio is located at 3660 Ironton St. in Beaumont.
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By Caitlin Duerler, ISSUE staff writer