To round out our “Tent Series” blog posts, we’ve put together a special one that we think you’ll adore –– this year’s couples of the tent!
Not only are each of the show’s 100 artists lucky to do what they love for a living, some of them get to do it alongside of the person they love the most in life! We asked each couple a specific question to answer about the other –– and the answers will warm your heart. See for yourself.
Susan Morrow-Potje & Jake Potje
What most impresses you about the work your partner does to ensure the Celebration of Fine Art a success?
Susan: I love working with my husband! I am always so impressed with his determination and focus to get any job done. He is dedicated to making the show the best it can be and is an extraordinary problem solver. Many times he has discovered and solved a problem before I even knew about it. He is not a man of many words, but his actions show you who he is, which in my opinion is awesome!
Jake: Her ability to see the silver lining in the clouds and to always be optimistic. Also, her ability to manage the artists, which is really hard to do it as well as she does. She has really good people skills and she’s good at helping the artists focus and direct their attention to where it needs to be. And lastly, her ability to always be up. She has a thankful, grateful attitude about everything that goes on every day around her.
Whitney Hall & Matt Suess
What are you most impressed by about each other’s craft? Have you learned anything from one another’s art that has influenced your own?
Whitney: His use of color was what really attracted me when we first met here in the tent. And also the drama he’s able to create with his pieces. They’re ordinary subjects but he shows them in such a dramatic way. Since my paintings always start with a photograph, he’s made me a better photographer for sure. And also showing me how to look at things from a different perspective to make my paintings that much stronger.
Matt: Well, also her colors. We were initially attracted to each other through color. Also, her technique and her knowledge about what she does has really impressed me because she has mad skills. She’s someone who is a lot more talented than me. I’m big with color myself and I know a lot about color through photography, but she’s taught me even more about color and color theory that I’ve learned and studied myself that has helped me with my work. It’s also helped me develop a deeper appreciation of color, which has helped me too.
Gabriella & Jeremy Firehammer
What specifically about your partner’s work and technique inspire you?
Gabriella: I’m fascinated by the form, shape and texture of the sculptures my husband makes. His pieces are elegant and have clean lines –– there is a deliberate design to them that has to be worked out and executed with masterful precision and attention to detail. He plays with the way one material interacts with the other and it feels to me as if they are in relationships with each other –– supporting and enhancing the other. The stone is cool and the wood is warm. There’s always a yin and yan and zen feel.
Jeremy: I like the freedom of color that she plays with to create her paintings, specifically, the way in which she moves pigment and wax and finds balance in her images. There is a restful and meditative mood to her pieces that affects the viewer in a calming way.
Diana & Kenneth Ferguson
What about your partners’ work ethic do you admire the most?
Diana: What I love most about Ken’s work ethic is his commitment to working each painting through until he achieves the vision he had for it.
Kenneth: What I love most Diana’s work ethic is her determination and success in continuing to elevate her chosen art form.
Isabelle & Leo Posillico
Do you have a favorite piece of work the other has made? What is it?
Isabelle: My favorite piece of Leo’s is his oil painting titled “It’s A New Day” (48” x 60”). I love the bright colors and Leo’s signature brushstroke characters who are looking over the water into the vast sky.
Leo: My favorite piece of Isabelle’s jewelry is her Dance Partner Earrings, which are made of gold, keshi pearls, opals, emeralds, blue topaz, and diamonds. Her series of these one-of-a-kind earrings with mismatched gemstones balanced by length and color are fun and elegant.