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Local Artists Live: Pacrates Asbel
August 22, 2020; 10:00 AM–10:30 AM CDT
Artist Pacrates grew up in south-central Alabama, moving from Dothan to Prattville in the sixth grade. His youth was full of appreciating and making art, especially drawing and doodling, but it was not until the past few years that he began to consider himself as an artist.
As he says, he “sort of stumbled into becoming an artist” in 2015 while living down in the panhandle of Florida in Fort Walton Beach where he became more serious with his sketching. Bored with drawing and wanting to explore creating larger abstract art, he then took up painting shortly thereafter. “I bought some cheap supplies and started practicing and never stopped!” While in Florida, joined the HH Arts Gallery, where he created his Be The Change mural —a groundbreaking project for his artistic development.
After moving back home to Prattville to be closer to family, Pacrates made his public debut as an artist in Montgomery by participating in the Artists On Tap event in 2016. He recalls feeling nervous about putting himself and his work out there, but after good feedback and compliments, he quickly gained confidence in his abilities as an artist.
Tune in this Saturday, August 22, at 10 AM on the Museum’s Instagram page when Pacrates goes live from his studio space, discusses his art and process, and answers questions from the audience!
Left: Pacrates, Quiet Confidence, 2019, 36″x48″ acrylic
This program is part of the series:
Meet the Artist
What is your favorite thing about living in the South?
My favorite thing about living in the South is the outdoors and nature. I grew up exploring in the woods, camping, fishing, and learning about the natural world.
What excites you most about the growth of Montgomery’s art scene?
What excites me most about the growth in the art scene of Montgomery is simply being part of it. When I moved back from Florida, I didn’t know anyone in the art community and didn’t know where to start, but looking back, I think I came back at the perfect time. It’s great to see so many new opportunities presented and a better appreciation from the community for local art.
What is your favorite work of art from the MMFA’s collection, and what specifically about the artwork speaks strongly to you?
My favorite piece at the museum is the Spiral Texture Wall [Fibonacci Wall] by Tara Cady Sartorius. I learned about the Fibonacci spiral early on and it has inspired some of my work, and I also use it for creating composition[s].
What piece of art that you have created is your favorite, and why?
Although it’s hard to pick just one, my favorite piece of art that I’ve created is a large (36″×48″) lion painting I did in 2019, titled Quiet Confidence. I choose it because it incorporates the use of color value for lighting, it has an abstract yet realistic look, and it’s my favorite animal.
Do you have an all-time favorite work of art, and have you seen it in person? If you have, how did you feel at that moment?
My all-time favorite work of art is Leonardo Da Vinci’s Mona Lisa because of the legendary status and mystique of the painting. She has become the face of art, so as an artist, I would love to see it in person someday.
Tell us about your most preferred place to be on Earth. What role, if any, has the energy of that place helped shape you as an artist?
My favorite place to be is a contrasting tie between being in nature and being in the middle of a big city. Even though they seem like complete opposites, they both have their own energy and inspirations to be appreciated.
What drives your creativity?
I believe art inspires art. Seeing beautiful paintings from other artists is what made me want to start painting, and it still inspires me now. I love the process of creating large pieces, which can be weeks or months of work, and the feeling when it’s finally “finished”!
What is your preferred medium?
My preferred medium is acrylics because of all the techniques that can be used with it. I use collage, texture mediums, color pencils and markers, organic material etc. It’s also what I have the most experience working with and the drying time is a plus.
Do you listen to any particular music when you create?
I almost always have music playing when I work (silence is golden too, though) and it ranges from classical to hip hop. There’s a different vibe to each and it usually fits the subject matter or technique. A rainy day in the studio is great for instrumental violin or a bright fall day might call for the volume to be turned up to some classic rock.
What advice would you give to beginning artists?
My advice to any beginner artist would be to not limit yourself. There are no rules to art and you never know what another person will connect with. Follow your intuition and don’t be afraid to mess up because that’s where the learning happens.