Drawing rocks...
Drawing rocks…

For the last two weeks, de Young museum visitors have shared their experiences and interpretations in regards to the Patterns exhibit and residency.  The Merriam-Webster online dictionary has eleven different definitions for pattern.  Being an artist, these five stood out:

  1. Something designed or used as a model for making things.
  2. An artistic, musical, literary, or mechanical design or form.
  3. A natural or chance configuration.
  4. A reliable sample of traits, acts, tendencies, or other observable characteristics of a person, group, or institution.
  5. A frequent or widespread incidence.

The different definitions made me curious.  Being laser focused in my art practice, how do younger creatives just discovering their style and path in life define what is a pattern?  As a result, I decided to ask my dynamo interns.  Here’s their interesting and thoughtful responses:

Fabulous young artist and intern Alexandra Cole.
Fabulous young artist and intern Alexandra Cole.

I am a college student at Santa Barbara City College as well as Diablo Valley Collage studying art and my focus is on studio art.   I have been making work since I was a wee child and have just in recent years started to develop trying to find which type of art and a style that suites me. I am 23 years old and grew up in the Bay Area, which is rich in culture and inspiration.  I went down to Santa Barbara, Ca to have a change of scenery and try to get a new perspective on life, while trying to hold onto my roots as a Northern Californian.

Patterns are amazing they create a sort of order and chaotic feel depending on what medium you use, the scale of the pattern.  If it is really big you can just lose yourself within the pattern, if it is relatively small you can gather more information and soak in all of it instead of just one portion of it.  I think to be a human you need to have multiple patterns in your life in order to live.

I think that the creative process is very important to the human experience through out life, and along with that comes a type of pattern that you can create for yourself. You can find different kinds of patterns in everyday life whether it is how you wake up in the morning or the route that you travel to and from work, or the music choice that helps you concentrate. With in art, an artist who creates work has a certain style and pattern that they always return to. Some artist like myself are, still trying to find their particular pattern within life and in art.

Hardworking artist and museum studies graduate student Monika.
Hardworking artist and museum studies graduate student Monika Lee Jones.

My name is Monika Lea Jones and I am a current intern in the Kimball Education Gallery at the de Young Museum, San Francisco. As an artist and Museum Studies graduate student, it is an honor to work with established Bay Area artists who use this gallery as their studio.  This month’s artist, Jenny Balisle works in several mediums, all relating to patterning and the translation of those patterns into a multilayered, integrated work of art.

When Jenny asked me to write about my perspective on patterns the first thing I thought about was repetition, in the way that the natural world expresses itself through set patterns of growth which are informed by the environment to create the final shape.  In the form of DNA, the pattern is like the basic code or blueprint by which all things are originally based, but which can also be mutated or interpreted by the organism to create something entirely unique.  I see the pattern as the principle that can be repeated, but not necessarily perfectly.  A computer generated fractal pattern is an example of a pattern replicating in a perfect inorganic environment, however when it comes to the branches of a tree tree, small things may effect the overall outcome but the overall pattern may still be evident.  There are many ways to express a pattern and it is natural for pattern to change or evolve over time.

In drawing in progress inspired by Andy Goldworthy's Draw Line and Herzog & Meuron's Dominus Estate.
In progress drawing inspired by Andy Goldworthy’s Drawn Line and Herzog & de Meuron’s Dominus Estate.

Wonderful insights from Monika and Alexandra!  Overall, patterns define our existence from daily routines to decorative elements that inspire.  Through exploration, a pattern will most likely emerge.  It just takes time and patience.  In the long run, it’s worth the exploration.  It doesn’t matter one’s age, sex, occupation, or background.  Here’s the top three My favorite de Young pattern is… visitor responses from week two at the de Young Museum:

R from here on 9/13/13.
R from here on 9/13/13.
Toby from Albuguerque on Fri the 13.
Toby from Albuguerque on Fri the 13.
Arturuo Najera from LA/SF on 9/14/13.
Arturuo Najera from LA/SF on 9/14/13.

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