A Gallery Opening: Aislinn Has the Floor

By Marah Morrison

A 2016 communications graduate from Youngstown State University, Aislinn Janek, decided to return to campus to major in fine arts. She had her opening gallery entitled Fragility in Bliss Hall on March 28.

Janek’s opening gallery reception was from 5 to 7 p.m., and her work was up until April 2. This Q&A takes a deeper look into the artist herself.

Q: What persuaded you to get back into art?

A: I think it’s something that I’ve always done anyway, even when I haven’t been in the country for a long time. When I’m traveling, even when I don’t have my paints and everything, I still find something. I think a lot of times, artists get the wrap of being psychologically estranged or emotionally less together, but I find creating and making things is a form of wellness.

Q: Do you feel like you’re showing your true colors through your work?

A: It’s not necessarily self-expression all of the time, but rather what I am interested in. A lot of people wouldn’t realize that a lot of research actually goes into making a piece of artwork. A lot of times, my pieces could be based on a psychological concept.

Q: How does having your own show make you feel?

A: I’ve exhibited in other group shows, so I’m ready to have my own show and show that I can be professional and have a significant body of work to display that could fill a gallery.

Q: How do you think people being exposed to your art benefits you and benefits them?

A: I think seeing art definitely opens up your mind, and that’s kind of what has been the fun part of showcasing my work. Half of it is creating it, and I can put in all of the research and work into a piece, but then the second half is the audience interpretation. A lot of my pieces are mixed media, so I have to think about layers.

Q: Do you have a particular artist you look up to or are inspired by?

A: I wouldn’t say it’s just one particular artist, but I do abstraction in general, so a lot of Joan Mitchell. She’s pretty badass. I do get a lot of inspiration from my own classmates though. That’s what’s nice about coming back to the group setting. I think that it’s really important to have that network of peers.

Q: How did showcasing your work come about?

A: I had sketches and stuff of what I wanted to do, so Friday when I got in there, I went straight to work. I knew what I wanted it to look like. The Student Project Gallery is a really nice resource because any student can sign up as long as they’re an art student taking classes. For two weeks, you can display your work in there. A lot of times, students will use that space to experiment. You basically have three days to install.

Q: What do you think it takes to prepare to have your work showcased for the public to look at?

A: I think you want to be engaged in your work conceptually as well as tactically. Developing a strong concept and a strong group of works that you have researched for and that is cohesive. It just depends on the type of show.

Q: What advice would you personally give someone who wants to showcase their work?

A: You have to work hard and time management is key. You have to be organized, plan ahead and test your work before you start working on large scale things. You can have the creativity and the natural talent, but at the end of the day, if you’re not organized or punctual, galleries are not going to want to work with you.