The “cornered” feature in the May/June 2012 issue of artscope features J. Fatima Martins’ interview with Marilyn Kalish, owner of The Vault Gallery in Great Barrington, Mass. Space restrictions didn’t allow us to run the full interview in the issue so we’re sharing the portion that didn’t make it into the magazine here.
How did you find your working ritual?
Marilyn Kalish: Organically. People like us trust the process. It’s a matter of how long can you stay in the space without answers. We are comfortable with the process and we are trusting in the uncomfortablility. It’s ritual, ritual, ritual until the answers arrive, and they always do.
How have you managed challenges and mistakes?
MK: I have mentors; people who understand my working method and how I think. That’s very important. The answers don’t come quickly… search, search, search and I will find a truth and it’s visceral, and it’s unpredictable. I’m comfortable with the search and placing myself in the right mindset. It’s ‘Attitude of Application,’ and I’m keeping journals all the time, a working grocery list. I ask the question: what is working right today?
You seem to have marked your goal: to be in an institution, a museum.
MK: I’m not conscientiously working towards that. I’ve spent my whole life making paintings. There’s a part of me that thinks my children will sell my paintings at a flea market. I listen, I watch, I make connections.
We are dynamic mothers. As a mother and artist, how did you manage any possible guilt?
MK: I never had guilt. I was in the business of making memories. We had rituals as a family; I used that time to connect. I didn’t sacrifice myself for my children, they were full participants in my creative life. I was a better parent when I was on an exciting journey. While other kids were playing, my children were going to museums.
I went on your webpage and immediately I noted that your work is all about Marilyn. You don’t compromise yourself. Your work demonstrates, again, what I’ve noted with women artists. The theme and intellectual thread of chaos and order.
MK: Painting is the place where I experience being alive.
The Vault Gallery is located at 322 Main Street, Great Barrington, Mass. For more information on Marilyn Kalish and The Vault Gallery, visit http://www.marilynkalish.com, http://www.vaultgallery.net & http://www.facebook.com/marilyn.kalish.5 or call (413) 644-0221.