Hans van Meeuwen: Public Art and the “Human Pace of Life”

When did you first know you were an artist?
When I was six or seven years of age, I always came by a sculptor’s studio on the way to school (that was in Rotterdam, the Netherlands). We all biked to school; there was no school bus. There were often a few sculptures in the front garden. A bit Marta Pan style, I remember. That always intrigued me. I did not know at the time I would myself be an artist, but I was fascinated.

Favorite medium(s) you use to make art?
I love to experiment with new materials and new techniques. My best works come when I am very afraid of doing this or that because I’ve never done it and I think I cannot do it. (I will) sit in my studio for three days before I start . . .

What are the most interesting new trends in your field? Is your work changing as a result?
I think my work is changing, however, I do not have radical shifts in my work. I think my new work gets more “meditative.” I am very inspired by medieval art.

Talk about your creative process – where/when do you get most of your ideas and how do you know a piece is ‘finished?’
When I keep on working on it and try to change this or that and it is not getting any better, I know I have to stop. It’s done.

Do you also teach or are you strictly a creative artist?
I try to do as much of my artistic work as possible, but I do extra work elsewhere when needed.

What are you working on now?
The big project this year is to finish a public art project in Mesa, AZ, where an extension of a light rail line will get two new stations. I have the honor of making the art for one of the two station platforms and will install four artworks all over the platform in November. Needless to say, I am very much looking forward to that.

How has being in Kingston enhanced/inspired your work? What do you like best about living in Kingston/being involved with MAD? How long have you been here?
I came to Kingston in November of 2016, so that is not very long yet. I really love many things here. The closeness to nature is a big one. A very human pace of life certainly helps me concentrate better on my work!

Hans van Meeuwen
Studio: 635 Broadway, Kingston, NY 12401

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