Taylor Art Professor Wins Top Award

By Jim Garringer Published: May 10, 2012

"It Wasn't Me, I Wasn't There" by Taylor Art Faculty Member Josh Welker

An abstract, multicolored, multi-shaped sculpture created by Taylor art department faculty member Josh Welker has won first place in an international art show.

The sculpture, titled, It wasn't me, I wasn't there, was named first place by judges in the Saatchi Gallery of London competition. Welker’s creation is a compilation of 12 multisided objects that occupy a space measuring 30’x30’.

According to its website, Saatchi Gallery’s goal is to provide an innovative forum for contemporary art, presenting work by largely unseen young artists or by international artists whose work has been rarely or never exhibited in the UK.

Since Saatchi’s opening 25 years ago, the gallery has enjoyed continued growth and now hosts approximately 600,000 visitors each year. The Saatchi Gallery has worked with media sponsors on a number of shows including The Observer, The Sunday Times, Evening Standard, The Independent on Sunday and Time Out.

Many artists showing at The Saatchi Gallery are unknown when first exhibited, not only to the general public but also to the commercial art world. Many of these artists are subsequently offered shows by galleries and museums internationally. In this effect, the gallery also operates as a springboard for young artists to launch their careers.

It marks the second major award for Welker, who also won the $5,000 highest award in last year’s 3rd Semiannual Dave Bown Projects competition in New York City. New York artist and author D. Dominick Lombardi, wrote an essay on Welker’s work in which he said, “(There is) a certain freshness to Welker’s structures, which resemble someone thinking out loud, making discoveries as they go along and not wasting a bit of material along the way.”

“I’m thrilled to have my work validated and affirmed by a portion of the contemporary art world,” said Welker. “Art is, to some extent, a job like everything else. I log hours in my studio the same way I logged hours baking or washing dishes. If I’m not there the work doesn’t magically appear.

“I also understand art to be synonymous with life,” he added. “Careful and difficult decisions need to be made in both.  If risks are not taken, nothing interesting will happen. If the edges aren’t refined, corners not carefully dealt with in art and in life, the life, or the work, might fail. This, at least, is what I strive for and teach.”