New Art Exhibit Seeks to Invoke Memories
The paintings of local artist Lori Anne Boocks will be on display at the 9605 Medical Center Drive building (Building III) from Nov. 15-Jan. 22. Boocks works for the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, one of the tenants in Building III on the JHU Montgomery County Campus. Lori Anne Boocks is married to Stephen Boocks, who displayed his work on campus last year. Lori Anne’s exhibit is called “Seeking.” Hopkins Happenings asked Boocks about herself and the exhibit.
Hopkins Happenings: Tell us about yourself.
Boocks: I’m an abstract painter who incorporates text in art. Depicting memories is key to my painting. I live in Germantown and have a bachelor of fine arts degree in studio art and a minor in art history.
Hopkins Happenings: How’d you get into art and decide to become an artist?
Boocks:Kids draw, but some of us never stop as we grow up. When I took my first college level art class as a sophomore, I wasn’t an art major. But I changed my major to studio art the next semester. I knew it would be risky and that if I didn’t teach art, the job market would be tough. I majored in art anyway because it’s what I love.
Hopkins Happenings: What kind of art do you do? What materials do you use?
Boocks: My work has been described as atmospheric. I use acrylic and charcoal to create hazy layers. Color is important. The process is messy, and for the most part I paint with my hands in gloves, not with brushes. Washes of pigment applied at the end of the process aim to give each piece a history of its own, as if I’ve excavated something long buried and rediscovered.
Hopkins Happenings: What is your approach for creating a work of art? What is your inspiration?
Boocks: A lot of the women in my family have had Alzheimer’s or dementia disorders. My goal is to create the feeling of a memory that has made up a part of who I am. Should I alsoend up with such a disorder, my hope is to look at my work and have a connection with my past. Although this rationale may seem self-centered, so far it has translated into something more universal to which people can connect.
Hopkins Happenings: Why is the exhibit called “Seeking?”
Boocks: “Seeking” represents the ever-searching aspect for me personally as I dig up memories, put them on display and invite viewers to search for their own meaning in the work.
Hopkins Happenings: What do you hope viewers of your art experience upon seeing it?
Boocks:I try to give viewers a hint with titles or a legible word here or there on the canvas to launch them into their own memories. I want my work to make a personal connection and resonate on a deep level. Sometimes people are not sure how to process abstract art, but I hope they open up to what they see and let color or curiosity lead them on a deeper journey.
Hopkins Happenings: What is your job for Pediatric Nurses Certification Board? Do you get to use your artistic talents at all?
Boocks:As the director of marketing and communications for the Pediatric Nursing Certification Board, I definitely rely on my artistic eye and background. Part of my job is art design oversight that uses two-dimensional design skills, typography and my undergraduate printmaking expertise.
Hopkins Happenings: Your husband exhibited on campus last year. Tell us a little about how you met and what it’s like to be married to a fellow artist.
Boocks:I recently wrote about this at length at http://lorianneboocks.weebly.com/blog/artist-interview-stephen-boocks. I met Stephen Boocks in my first semester of Old Dominion University's painting program. We were good friends for several years. Then we fell in love. Overall, it’s great. We get each other. We understand the need for alone time. We support each other and get through the inevitable ruts together. We are each other's cheerleaders, crazy-idea sounding boards, and weakness offsets (he stretches my canvas; I edit his writing). He is my reality check, my toughest critic, my rejection consolation and my acceptance celebrator. Not being married to another artist is difficult for me to imagine.