A new installation went up this Saturday over at Madrone, and in an ongoing effort to keep you forever in the know, we stopped by and talked to artist Beka Brayer about her first solo show.
The project is actually part of Artspan’s Open Studios
, a citywide event in the month of October that's among the oldest and largest open studios program in the country. Madrone is in fact a “hub” for the program, meaning that owner and general man-about-town Spike Krouse had the opportunity to curate the space any way he liked.
Brayer’s unique brand of found assemblage really made an impact on him. “I wasn’t planning to do a solo show ... but when I looked at Beka’s work it fit the aesthetic of this environment much more than any of the other work I saw," Krouse said. "I think there's a reverence with her work that works well with the bar."
Originally from Hawaii, Brayer has been living in the Burlingame area for the last 20 years. She hasn’t always been an artist, however. She has a degree in criminal law, and was actually a flight attendant for Continental Airlines for 10 years before settling down to raise her children. Many of the found objects she uses in her work have been collected quite literally from all over the world during her travels as a flight attendant.
Once her children left for college, Brayer felt she needed to redefine herself and began creating art. However, she told us that she’s really been an artist all her life. Her mother was an artist, her father was an engineer, and her grandparents were antique collectors. Knowing this, her unique art makes sense. “It comes natural to me, like breathing,” she told us.
Brayer says she arrives at most of her ideas while she’s asleep. “My best work comes to me in my REM cycle,” she said. “I dream the assemblage, then assemble the dream. This is my result.” Brayer said that her studio consists of five large tables in a room full of her found objects. She will often wake up in the middle of the night and lay out the objects she plans to use so she doesn’t lose the idea.
What exactly is her art all about, we asked?
“What it’s about to me is very personal so I try not to muddy the waters with a piece of art I created. I create pieces of work that speak for themselves. They have a dialogue with the viewer. It becomes a visual conversation. It’s about resonating with a piece and having a dialogue and telling a story. If I were to share with you what I was thinking while I went through the process, it would change your interaction with the piece."
To celebrate the new show, there will be an opening reception at Madrone tonight (Friday, October 10th) from 6pm to 9pm. Swing by if you’d like to meet the artist and have a visual conversation with some very dreamy found objects.