Somerville Arts Council Jason Chase, December Artist of the Month

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Jason Chase moved to Somerville from his hometown of Colorado Springs in 2000 to study with the artist John Walker at Boston University where he went on to receive a Masters in Fine
Arts degree in Painting in 2003. He has shown his paintings of bright colorful Americana in shows in Boston, Los Angeles, Chicago, and New York City. He is currently represented in Boston by the Gold(Au) Gallery on Tremont Street. At the moment, Jason is busy working on a series of paintings to debut at a gallery show at Colorado University in 2014.

What’s a brief overview of what you do?
I’m a painter. I take things from everyday life and try to find a deeper, more important meaning behind them. For example, one of my paintings is of a box of shotgun shells with a lightbulb in front of it. Something about the distortion of the shotgun logo through the glass spoke to me.

Are there some past projects you’d like to mention in more detail?
I made a painting that is my recreation of the well-known photo of the Nagasaki mushroom cloud, in which the cloud is composed of hundreds of kernels of Jiffy Pop Popcorn. It amazes me that we dropped the bomb. I was excited that this painting debuted at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston. And I just finished a painting of a the original 1972 Marx Big Wheel. . .it’s pretty badass. . .I think that may have been the best toy ever made. It’s been fun seeing people’s reaction to it. . you can’t help but smile.

Is there anything new you’re working on, or an event that’s coming up?
I am working on several new pieces in the studio at the moment. I am now preparing for a large scale show at the University of Colorado in 2014. I also recently began working and showing with the Gold Gallery in South Boston. You should stop by the gallery to check out my paintings in person!

Why do you do what you do? What’s something you get out of it?
Painting is all I’ve ever wanted to do since I was sixteen years old. I rented my first studio In Colorado Springs when I was seventeen and haven’t looked back since. Nothing resonates with me more than good visual art. . .paintings especially.

What got you involved in doing what you do? Is there someone or something that was important in getting you on your way? (A big break you got, or a mentor who helped you, etc.)
My brother Brad first put a paintbrush in my hand and taught me the basics of painting. I was hooked immediately. He was very influential to me, my life, and my work. Also, Raphie, the owner of the first gallery that showed my work, has been a great mentor to me. He continues to push me and advise me on all things life and work related.

Any thoughts on the local Somerville, or Boston-area creative scene?
There’s a lot of good art happening in Somerville and around Boston. I am optimistic about the art scene in this town continuing to grow with the constant influx of young, creative artists. You mix that crowd with the folks who have been here for years continually churning out good work and it makes for a fun group and an interesting time to be here. Somerville Open Studios has always been a good way to see what art is happening around town. Stop on by my studio this year and check out my new work!

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