Artist spotlight: J Forte

Recently the walk to the union became a bit more pensive, as some students have noticed. On the west side of Wriston the eerie presence of senior art student J Forte’s “Walking with the Living” has peaked the curiosity
of passing Lawrentians. Here’s a little insight into one of Lawrence’s more conspicuous artistic minds.
Where are you from and what are you studying at Lawrence?
Washington, D.C.; Studio Art.
When did you decide to pursue art as a career?
Over the past few years I made a gradual shift in focus from science into art. The more I experimented and became experienced with different
mediums and my own hand, the more clear it became to me that I “couldn’t not do it” (as so many people have put it).
What kind of work do you do?
Sculpture, painting, drawing, primarily figural. Right now I am becoming more interested in sculpture
installations within public places, the manipulation of environment.
Which artists do you consider to be particularly inspirational to you?
This list would more accurately be 10 pages long, but a few are Francesco Clemente, Andrew Barton, Kiki Smith, Jean-Michel Basquiat, Andy Goldsworthy, Leon Golub, Ray Johnson, e.e. cummings, a few professors
I’ve had …
What do you hope to accomplish with your art?
I want to document the intense and often paradoxical emotions of internal experience; to distill into physical form the sensation of a psychological state of being.
Could you tell us a little bit about your most recent work?
The five black figures installed alongside Wriston (“Walking with the Living”) are my interpretation of the way many people choose to live their life.
Do you have any future plans, either near or distant, for your art?
Following college, I hope to be in an internship/apprentice position
that will allow me to learn and experience first-hand from working artists.
If you’d like to see more work from Forte, check out her senior show, “When Ego met Id,” March 10-17 in the Mudd Gallery.