Senior art students tour renowned artist’s studio

Frank Jiang

Seniors in AP Studio Art and visual arts teacher Conor Thompson visited acclaimed artist Jonas Wood’s art studio in Silver Lake on Nov. 26.

Thompson arranges studio visit

Thompson said that the idea of visiting Wood’s studio began when one of his students, Oscar Montanez-Garay ’20, mentioned that some of his paintings were influenced by Wood’s works.

“[Oscar and I] had been talking about it, and a light-bulb kind of just went off,” Thompson said. “Because my wife is a personal cook for [Wood], I kind of had a connection with him, so I sent him an email to see if he was open to give us a tour and he was.”

Upon arrival, Wood gave the group a comprehensive tour of his entire studio, which consists of smaller rooms and is populated with numerous studio assistants.

“[Wood] was incredibly generous with his time and really gave us a tour of everything,” Thompson said. “He really talked in depth about not only how he makes his work, but also how he thinks about it. He provided generous information about the behind-the-scenes process of how his art gets made.”

Attendee Ella Price ’20 said it was inspiring to see the hard work that Wood puts into his art and how it has paid off for him. Price said she usually puts herself under a lot of unneccesary pressure that stems from her belief that artwork should have a deeper meaning. She felt that Wood refrained from placing this negativity upon himself during his creative process and it had, in fact, helped his artwork.

Students learn about process of creating art

“He didn’t really put pressure on creating,” Price said. “It kind of just came from him, and I just thought about how it was really cool for him to express himself and end up being so successful.”

Attendee Berry Nakash ’20 said that because she tended to be a little more messy when she paints, it was very unexpected to enter such an organized studio. Nakash said that Wood’s meticulousness was reflected in his painting process, which differed significantly from her own.

“I learned that it’s largely a process and that [Wood’s] has steps to everything and that he works on paintings not individually, but rather all in one go,” Nakash said. “For some artists, organization is everything, and I didn’t think that was the case for all. In fact, I thought it was the opposite, but for him, it’s a like factory process, which was really interesting.”