- Where are you from and where do you reside?
- I grew up in Saginaw, Michigan. After college I moved to Washington, D.C. for graduate school. I returned to the Midwest in 2010 and have been happily living and working in the Chicago area.
- What necessities do you require when making your art?
- NPR is a must! Once I’ve listened to an entire news cycle, I enjoy podcasts like Bad at Sports and Modern Art Notes.
- Describe a typical day in the studio for you.
- I like to start working by 9 am. I take 15 minutes to look around and reacquaint myself with how I left things during the previous session. I work on whatever piece calls out to me the loudest and move on to something else when I feel like I can’t make any further decisions. I take a few breaks to eat, clear my head, organize supplies, etc, but nothing takes longer than 20 minutes. I usually feel like I’ve hit my limit by around 6:30 pm.
- What is the most difficult part of the artistic process for you?
- Once something feels too comfortable, I get bored and look for new ways to challenge myself. The most difficult part of my process is trusting my decisions that involve risk. Sometimes it’s hard to try something new, knowing that it may never turn into anything good, but I have to do it to keep things interesting.
- How do you choose your materials?
- Nowadays I pretty much stick to oil (I like Williamsburg brand) but I also like to incorporate materials that are associated with the decorative arts and domesticity like gold leaf, metal powder, and glitter. In my most recent works, I’ve been collaging things like fabric, wood veneer, and sandpaper to the surface.
The most difficult part of my process is trusting my decisions that involve risk. Sometimes it’s hard to try something new, knowing that it may never turn into anything good, but I have to do it to keep things interesting.
— Allison Reimus
- Is there something people would be surprised to learn about you?
- My first job was working as an artist’s assistant for a local woman who painted bricks to look like little houses. She sold them at craft shows and people all over town were buying them to use as decoration, even commissioning her to paint bricks to look like their own houses. I was 15 and went to her home everyday after school and painted miniature doors, windows and bushes while watching Oprah. As a bonus, she let me paint a brick to give to my Mom as a Christmas gift.
- What’s one of your favorite objects you own? What’s the story?
- My favorite object is a postcard from one of my favorite artists, Alex Katz. I sent him some fan mail when I was younger and he was kind enough to respond by sending me a postcard! He wrote, “Dear Allison, All the best!” and signed the front of the postcard as well.
The other, and this is kind of weird, is a scarf knitted from dog hair. My Dad would collect the hair from our family dog, a beautiful Golden Retriever/ Chow mix, every time he brushed her. After he collected enough hair, he shipped it off to have it spun into yarn. My talented aunt knitted it into a scarf. Its extra special to me now that my beloved pup has passed away.
- Is there any artwork on display in your home/studio? Whose is it?
- Absolutely. I love living with art by people that I admire. My favorites include work by Karen Ann Myers, Judy Ledgerwood, Geoffrey Todd Smith, Patricia Treib, and Josephine Halvorson.