‘The Luck Exhibit’: Amy Houser speaks out loud the colors in her head

 

On April 22, our newest show “The Luck Exhibit” will open, featuring five different artists offering their interpretations of luck, chance and serendipity in their lives, and in their art.

The group exhibit, which will run through May 18, is the collective brainchild of its artists, all designers at Kathy Davis Studios. Through mediums ranging from encaustic painting to mixed media collages, they will explore the significance of fortune as influenced by culture, myth, philosophy, personal belief and more.

32026f6Yardley artist Amy Houser will exhibit several works in watercolor, colored pencils and salt. Amy’s extensive career in illustration and graphic and product design has been a global adventure, taking her to Hong Kong, as well as Alaska and California, and back. She’s worked for companies such as Disney, Mattel and Crayola, and had her illustrations featured in the worlds of fantasy/sci-fi, gaming and children’s publishing. When she’s not immersed in all things product design for Kathy Davis Studios, you can find her trail running, chasing new adventures or happily inhabiting her world of make-believe, drawing pencils in hand.

Here, she shares her thoughts on the freedom inherent in watercolors, the meaning of luck and its relevance to her work.

On the ‘religion’ of luck:

“(Luck means) anything people see in it. Truly, it’s not a cop-out answer – people assign such personal feelings and context to what’s lucky or unlucky in their lives that I’ve never met a person who sees it the same way. Luck is like a tiny, one-person religion that we write through our lives and hold faith to, inside and aside from our own greater community beliefs. We don’t make it up, we know it.”

 On exploring subjectivity:  

“I love the totally subjective concept of what’s ‘good luck’ versus what’s ‘bad luck’ A plant, a coin, a hand, a symbol – they all mean a hundred different things by culture or generation. I’m working on a few of those ideas in sets or diptychs.”

On the role of luck in being an artist: 

“Oh, it’s solidly one-third a part of any artist’s career. There’s talent, and there’s hard work, but there’s also the element of accident, happy chance, and timing. Luck has always been an element of my work on the ‘career’ level as much as the ‘individual piece’ level, for sure.”

On creating your own luck: 

"Lucky Cat" by Amy Houser

“Lucky Cat” by Amy Houser

“Put yourself in weird situations and meet people you wouldn’t normally meet. Say ‘yes’ to every knee-jerk opportunity for adventure or for a new experience, and luck finds weird and good things for you. Yes, bad too, but overwhelmingly good.”

On the ‘voice’ of her medium: 

“I get to speak out loud the colors that happen in my head. I can have utter control and delicate color shifts and lines, or all out finger-painting expressive mess-making, depending on the day and the piece. I love the wild accidents and I love that the medium will always let you back in.”

On endless inspiration: 

“I mean, I’m inspired, like, 19 times before lunch. Adventures fill the inspiration tanks best.”

On art’s compelling nature: 

“I believe art wakes us up — wakes up whatever part of us needs to wake up the most. Sometimes it’s joy, sometimes it’s outrage, sometimes it’s thoughtfulness or compassion, sometimes it’s laughter. I think it wakes up our better selves. Wakes up what might’ve fallen asleep for a bit.”

Find out more about Amy here. She’ll be exhibiting alongside Anna Lo Piccolo, Kimberly Seslar, Maureen Flynn and Carol Supon.

“The Luck Exhibit” kicks off with an opening reception at the Scatter Joy Center for the Arts, 305 Horsham Road, Horsham, from 5 to 8 p.m. April 22.