Meeting your Heroes / by Megan Davis

wayne_white.jpg

A few months ago I was googling Wayne White, looking to see if I could find any of his word painting as prints. Turns out there are two available, but they are still pretty pricey.

During this search I randomly found out that he is scheduled to be the artist in residence at a local college this spring. “This should be a Burg article!” I thought to myself.  I emailed our editor-in-chief with all kinds of links and info about Wayne, his plans to build an installation at the college, his painting exhibit, lecture, documentary screening, etc. I think I made the subject of the email about 20 exclamation points and nothing else. I was excited!

This was my very first time recommending an article and it just so happened to to fit perfectly into our April arts issue. Our editor-in-chief agreed to assigning the article and I scheduled to meet Wayne White for photos.

As it turns out, an artist acquaintance of mine, Stephen Haas, idolizes Wayne White. Unknown to me, he wrote this blogpost a month or so ago about how it was his dream to work with Wayne, and how he hoped to make contact with him in the next year.

Two days before I had plans to photograph Wayne, I had a meeting with a friend at a coffee shop (where Stephen was working). I was explaining how excited I was to see the artwork and meet Wayne, etc. etc. He was like “does Stephen know that?”

Longer story shortened, I invited Stephen with me to meet Wayne. Since then, Stephen has been volunteering for the installation project 5 days a week- working right beside his idol, Wayne White.

The best part about this, is that if you look at Stephen’s blog posts (and note the dates), he made the goal of meeting this artist and work with him in some way in the next few years. This actually came to happen in a matter of weeks. Boom! I love when things like that happen.

Final design for the article in TheBurg.

Final design for the article in TheBurg.

Detail of painting by Wayne White.

Detail of painting by Wayne White.

Detail of painting by Wayne White.

Detail of painting by Wayne White.

Cardboard puppet heads in progress.

Cardboard puppet heads in progress.

Stephen, pictured with a confederate soldier in progress. (He built the hand)

Stephen, pictured with a confederate soldier in progress. (He built the hand)

Wayne White and Mimi Pond.

Wayne White and Mimi Pond.