Featured Artist: Rick Bankhead

In this look into artist Rick Bankhead’s practice, we hear about his local inspirations and the importance of community in creating art.

Read on to learn more, and be sure to visit Rick at the 2023 Open Studios event happening April 29 & 30. You can find him at Artists at New Art Center at 448 Ward Street in Newton Center.

Tell us about your work and your process. What do you make and how do you make it?

I have always loved drawing. In primary school I found painting, including the use of pastels, acrylic or oil.

I have taken classes at The School of the Museum of Fine Arts Boston, Mass Art and the Cape Cod School of Art.

Rick Bankhead, Perfect Beach Day (2023)
Tell us about how your journey as an artist started. What is your background and what inspired you to commit yourself to a creative practice?
Interprétation, 2021

Painting with oil and sometimes cold wax gives me time to return again and again to achieve the result needed. This might include glazing or the use of egg tempera.

When I hike through Cape Cod National Seashore, I find my inspiration.

Tell us more about how your practice has evolved. What are some creative accomplishments you are proud of or milestones you have reached along your way?

The more techniques that I learn from mentors and teachers have expanded the way that I express my vision.

Pilgrim Lake, 2022
Tell us about your creative community. Are there any friends, collaborators, teachers, patrons, or organizations who have supported you along the way?
MacMillan Wharf, 2022

I am fortunate to have a strong core group of painter friends – we give each other support and encouragement. I have also had wonderful teachers in my life who have helped foster my passion.

Describe a particularly significant artwork you have created. Why was that piece significant to you and how did it impact your art making practice?

My recent abstract work has given me a new challenge. This has made me look at the surrounding world in a radically new way.

Unlimited, 2022
What’s next for you and your artwork? What can we expect to see from you in the future?
Dune Path, 2022

I am planning to explore this abstract vision of nature much more in the coming months – so stay tuned!

Casey Curry is a writer and curator guided by the belief that the transformation our world so desperately needs can only come from deep cultural shifts sparked by visionary artists who make fundamental change irresistible. Her research is rooted in thinking creatively about arts administration to uncover what is possible when visionary artists are not just supported by administrative allies, but truly understood and valued by co-creators with complimentary skills that level bureaucratic barriers to societal impact through art.

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