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Meet Justin Archer

Today we’d like to introduce you to Justin Archer.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
I was always interested in art when I was young. Mostly through standard art courses in school. While I loved my art classes, I struggled to be truly engaged with many of the projects that involved drawing and painting. It wasn’t until I began taking sculpture in high school student that I found an art form I was truly passionate about. I loved creating sculptures, but at that point in my life I had never considered the possibility that it could be a career path. It wasn’t until visiting the Nasher Sculpture Center and experiencing Jonathan Barofsky’s “Walking to the Sky” that changed. Seeing his work lead me to the decision to pursue a BFA, and eventually an MFA, in Sculpture from the University of North Texas.

Has it been a smooth road?
The years leading up to, and following, my graduation my work was fully immersed in concepts of string theory. I was creating non-objective sculptures that focused on expressing concrete, yet temporal, forms. However, after graduating in 2012 I no longer had a studio space. I still had a desire to create art so I spent a year creating more narrative and representational woodcuts. During this time I experience a lot of hardship, both artistically and personally which lead to me becoming a Christian. These experiences drastically changed my studio practice and I began creating figurative sculptures that focused on expressions of our humanity. Specifically I was interested in the creating sculptures focused on sharing the stories of different people in my life. I began graduate school in the fall of 2013 and for the first time pursued life-size works with the human figure. It took years of struggling and learning the human figure before creating pieces that I felt were strong enough to exhibit. Feeling discouraged and frustrated by a studio practice that often felt fruitless was hard. I have learned through this experience to be grateful for where I am at, while always working to challenge myself to make each sculpture stronger than the last.

So, as you know, we’re impressed with Justin W. Archer – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
I am a studio artist who primarily works with hand-carved life-size figures out of Basswood. As a studio artist I have dedicated myself to the creation of narrative sculpture through tradition wood-working and contemporary digital fabrication processes. This approach has allowed me to create a very diverse practice, that in many ways I have had to build from the ground up. Initially my sculptures begin with a 3D scan of a person whose experiences I am drawn to communicate. I 3D print a prototype from an edited version of the scan. Working from this model I glue up hundreds of blocks of wood and hand sculpt a figure from them. In my previous sculptures I exposed the incompleteness that we often feel as human beings, leaving cavities in each sculpture. Currently I am developing an installation where I will display several life-size figures in a space, all expressing varying degrees of hope and fragility. Each figure will be inspired by a different individual’s story, but they will be exhibited to create harmony and relationship between them.

Let’s touch on your thoughts about our city – what do you like the most and least?
Living in the Dallas area has been an incredible experience. The culture and dedication to the arts is something I am immensely grateful for. I am particularly drawn to the Fort Worth Modern, whose recent exhibition with KAWS was phenomenal. His sculptures transformed the way I engaged with the architecture of that building in a way I had never experienced there. And of course the Nasher Sculpture Center is such an engaging space to be in. They have had a number of really powerful exhibitions over the past couple of years. These are just a few of the spaces we have that make me thankful that I live close enough to visit Dallas regularly.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:

Justin W. Archer
Mike Flemming Photography

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