In 2015 I held one of John’s paintings at Reh’s gallery, and it made a huge impression on me. To be able to hold an actual painting of that caliber, and experience a painting as a physical thing with weight, helped shape my idea of what a painting is, more than just an image. It was a very formative experience in my earliest stages of painting.
I hope to be in a position one day to give back the way that John has with this foundation. I told you how much the grant helped me last year as I began my exploration into my own voice, as well as continuing to produce work despite the fire.
This grant allows artists like myself to take risks in their work, at a very turbulent and crucial point of leaving school and starting to make paintings. It’s easy to paint what ‘sells’, and this grant allowed me to explore what a painting could be, without the fear of not selling. Making those paintings sparked thoughts about what art and drawing can be, beyond ‘realisticness’. I teach online, and I’m able to share these ideas on Zoom with young artists around the world who aren’t able to study at an atelier. All this is to say, you and the people behind the Stobart Foundation play a role in proliferating a dialogue around art with people who don’t otherwise have access to these conversations. This grant is a lot more than the transaction of money, and its impact has a positive ripple effect. I am grateful.
Tyler Berry, Grant Recipient