Artistic focus

Looking at the schedule and application for CIVA Conference 2007, I found the name Allan Wexler.

Wexler is an artist/architect. This isn’t terribly uncommon (Aren’t a lot of Gehry‘s recent works as much sculpture as building?), but Wexler seems to be a bit more indecisive about his work. Art or architecture? I might be completely wrong; this is based on my cursory examination of his website, and I don’t say this judgmentally.

I’m the same way.

I started out studying architecture, and in some ways it’s still my first love. I graduated with a BFA. Wexler has a bachelor of fine arts, bachelor of architecture and master of architecture. I did consider an MFA, but in the end decided I didn’t want to be paying student loans off until I was 40 years old.

When chatting with a student at the Makoto Fujimura show last week, she relayed part of a lecture he’d given earlier in the day. Fujimura’s point: focus if you want to be successful. You don’t have to tell me this twice, but for some reason I can’t. I’m drawn to a variety of design problems and creative projects. Architecture, interior design, community planning, building practical (and still beautiful) furniture and creating abstract art. They all interest me.

I understand the benefits to narrowing down your efforts. There isn’t time to to dabble in everything — unless, and I know this happens and can happen after time, such a wonderful cluster of clientele falls from heaven and knocks on your door — and make a living too.

Just this afternoon I took some notes about my own sculpture and tried to narrow down my aspirations. From a list and some sketches I’ve mulled over for six months or more, I extracted the content that keeps coming back to my mind, that recurs in my work through the years.

Let’s hope I’m able to achieve some measure of focus.


About pcNielsen
Paul Nielsen founded The Aesthetic Elevator late in 2005. He owns a piece of paper, located somewhere in his house (not on the wall), stating that he earned a B.F.A. from the University of Nebraska around about 2001. While there, he studied studied architecture, graphic design and ceramics, graduating with a degree in studio art. Paul presently serves as communications manager for a small non-profit doing their print design and marketing. He spends as much time sculpting in his studio as possible — which is not nearly enough. Visit his website at

One Response to Artistic focus

  1. balm says:

    I ran across your blog on the tag surfer under art. It is so interesting to see about your thoughts and concepts. These are very similar to what my wife and I are dealing with. The other interesting thing is that we are both members of CIVA, and are familiar with Makoto Fujimora and IAM. We are a part of a group called BALM (Beauty Art, & Life Movement), as well as another group called (which mean to affirm life). We welcome you to view our site or email us at It is very exciting to see these conversations going on all over the place. I happen to be a sculptor as well. Although getting paid for it is another story. Have a great day. Darin

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