From “Human Rights” series.
Marilyn Kalish, the local and internationally recognized, Massachusetts-based contemporary artist, was born into a family of visual artists. She herself has always been creating, sketching and watching the world through the keen eyes of a creative. It was during her childhood, in her grandfather’s studio in particular, where she received the bulk of her education. Her grandfather was an accomplished artist both in his craft and his career. She told me over the phone — I, sitting on a couch in Vault Gallery; her in her kitchen in Wellesley — that she learned from him not through tutelage in any traditional sense, but through frequent and astute observation. Most crucial was her access to, and exploration of, pastels (his medium of choice), which she asserted was itself “the experience.” She learned more than craft, though, from her grandfather: “he was incredibly disciplined in the work,” she said. “He respected the work.” This ethos, which she clearly absorbed, is self-evident in her work and career.