5 with sean jackson

“They’re at The Door” by Sean Jackson opens Friday, April 7, at the little gallery from 6:00 to 9:00pm.

The installation, inspired by an ad Jackson saw during the recent presidential campaign, will transform the little gallery into a typical living room. Once the transformation is complete, he will take stock of his surroundings and create ways to protect his family from the objects he has access to. This process will be videotaped, and the creations Jackson makes will be available for sale.

During the reception, people will be able to talk to the artist, walk through the aftermath of his creative process and watch the video of him at work. Below is a Q&A with the Omaha artist behind this installation.

Q: When did you know you were going to be an artist?

I didn’t start painting until I moved to Omaha in 2008. Before that, I stayed away from the visual arts and focused on creative writing. When I began painting, I started with strictly paint on canvas. As I grew more sure of myself, I ventured into different mediums.

Q: Describe your process.

My process changes depending on my medium – most of my painted works are maps, so I spend a lot of time scouring old city records to find fun and unique maps. For my more experimental installations, almost all of my time goes into the planning – getting help, finding and purchasing materials, and having others set up the space so that what I create in my limited time is genuine and unplanned.

Q: Where do you find inspiration?

For “They’re at The Door,” my inspiration came from a Trump smear ad during the election. A woman is asleep in her room, and she is jolted awake by the sound of breaking glass. She runs to the phone, and as she is calling 911, she unlocks a gun case on her dresser and reaches for the loaded pistol inside. At this point several things happen – the gun she is reaching for disappears, and a voiceover tells viewers that Hillary could take away her right to self defense.  There is a cut to a scene in front of the woman’s house with crime scene tape up and the words “Don’t let Hillary leave you defenseless” on the screen.

This ad left me speechless. As a husband, father and one of the many Americans who do not own guns, I found myself looking around my living room and thinking, “I don’t think I’m defenseless just because I don’t own a gun.”

Q: Name the 3 most important things in your studio space.

Good, loud speakers with music constantly pouring through them, a freshly steeped pot of tea and my apron with pockets overflowing with both necessary tools and random bits and bobs.

Q: What do you want others to know about you/your work?

I want others to know that being an artist and creating doesn’t always have to be paint on canvas. If you have an idea that seems outrageous or intriguing, you should run with it. As for my work, I want to change how people view the objects we interact with on a day-to-day basis.

“They’re at The Door” runs through April 29 at the little gallery. For more info, call 402.681.1901.

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