We had the good fortune of connecting with Marsha Mack and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Marsha, career-wise, where do you want to be in the end?
When I take stock of my goals it rarely amounts to the material. Often I feel like I’m reaching for things I can’t quite articulate or see, so motivation can come in the form of what I want to avoid. One of the only things I fear is losing my edge- wasting precious time and getting complacent or pigeonholed. In regards to creative output, you always know in the back of your mind whether you played it safe or not. If I can look back on my past projects with renewed curiosity and see myself reflected in the work, I know that the artistic risks, material experimentations, and financial and time investments were worth it. So far, so good.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
Well, in a few short weeks I will be relocating to Columbus, OH. I’m currently in weeks long moment of reflection. On the theme of departing Denver, I’ll focus on the past five years and the thriving arts community.
For years I have taught ceramics at Foothills Park & Rec, as well as the recent addition of my hidden gem studio: Washington Heights Art Center. Friends, it’s been a true pleasure. It is in these community studios that I’ve undertaken the difficult work of unlearning institutional norms and expectations. I challenge my own process constantly, using glazes and techniques I was taught were to be avoided. I embrace cuteness and kitsch. I glue rhinestones to fired pieces. I am living free and making maniacal works!
My Denver story would be incomplete without mention of David B. Smith and David B. Smith Gallery. Within 6 months of arriving in Denver I found myself employed as Associate Director of my favorite gallery in town. With DBSG I have gained an intimate view into the realm of art sales, art fairs, art collectors, and the scope of a commercial art gallery with an international audience. In short: much fun, much education.
These days I feel pleased with my output but also have so much more to do, more to make, more to learn. I’m grateful for my two year residency (2018-2020) at RedLine Contemporary Art Center, whose support for artists and community is hugely positive for Denver as a whole. I’m grateful for exhibitions/projects with ATCDEN, Lane Meyer Projects, The Yard, GOCA, Black Cube Nomadic Museum, the MCA Denver, and others.
Over the past five years my creative, talented, generous, gorgeous friends in Denver have been everything. It is perhaps hardest to leave my art crew; hard to leave the sidewalk BBQs, Clay Club, cabin trips. To friends new and old – I will miss you! Please prepare your couches for me in the coming months.
Lastly, I am filled with gratitude and excitement for solo exhibition Exotic/Sophisticated currently on view at Alto Gallery through June 26th. Check it out!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Well, okay, when friends come to visit we have fun doing literally nothing. That being said, much of my interests revolve around food. For ex: If I love you, I will take you to Mango House in Aurora. Or to Baker’s Palace on Federal. Perhaps get pho’d up at Pho Duy? And then we can go hunting for imported candies at my most sacred cultural site(s) – the Asian grocery store.
If it’s summertime and 10 million degrees out we will probably jump in the South Platte River at a super secret spot just discovered last summer. I cannot comment further on the matter.
Lastly, most classic nights out end at Pon Pon, where the drinks floweth, the music is good, and Lane Meyer Projects brings the contemporary art flavor. Many a good, if not murky, memory made there.
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Of course, I gotta shout out my partner/artist/photographer extraordinaire Matthew Pevear. Over the years he’s been an incredible support for me and my practice. He’s one person I trust to let me know when something isn’t working (not always a cute experience), he listens to my rambles, and always has fresh perspective to offer. I’m so proud and excited that at the end of June we will be moving with our cat Mr. Carl to Columbus, Ohio where Matt will pursue an MFA at The Ohio State University.
Midwest: here we come.
Instagram: @yaymarshamack, @yaymarshamack_claytime
Matthew Pevear, Sara Ford, Wes Magyar, Amanda Tipton