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INTERVIEW: Artist TJ Wisco On Her Uncommon Art Residency, Finding Inspiration On The North Fork, And More

Nicole Barylski

Artist TJ Wisco works on a piece during her residency. (Photo: Courtesy of Sound View)

The Uncommon Art Residency Program has once again invited creatives to find inspiration across the North Fork. Since February, Greenport's Sound View and Harbor Front Inn have welcomed an array of emerging artists, whose expertise range from musical theater to visual performance to photography to painting to design, and more.

Among that talented group is Los Angeles-based artist TJ Wisco, who recently finished her artist in residence at Sound View. We caught up with the former New Yorker, who was reunited with one of her favorite inspirations - the sea and nautical places, to learn about her time on the East End.

Tell us about your residency and the pieces you worked on.

TJ: My personal aesthetic is very sea-driven. For my residency I wanted to explore not only the natural beauty of being on the water, but also the local cuisine that comes from it. I worked with Sound View's restaurant The Halyard, learning more about the dishes, and the local ingredients. I've never really drawn cuisine before so I knew it would be a challenge. Each ingredient was so fresh and beautiful to see before being cooked, after being cooked and then once plated by Chef Nate. They are true artists there. I also worked on a portrait of Chef Stephan who is the visionary behind the incredible menu.

Was this your first time working on the North Fork?

TJ: Yes! I have visited a few times before, but this was my first time spending a full week immersed in its beauty and having time to work on my art.

When not painting, how did you spend your time?

TJ: I actually have a full-time job in partnerships and special projects at an organization called The Foundation - we create, develop, and build brands within fashion, home design and lifestyle tech.

The completed piece. (Photo: Courtesy of Sound View)

What was the best part of finding inspiration in Greenport, and what in particular did you draw inspiration from?

TJ: One of my favorite parts of Greenport was being by the sea and how different it was everyday. From the waves, to the stillness, to the sunsets and sunrises. Each day brought on a different mood and feeling. I loved walking the beach and picking up shells, rocks and driftwood to paint on. I took so much from the sea - from watching and listening to it, to going to Peeko's and learning from Pete how they take and give back to it. It's a beautiful balance and a perfect way to get grounded again.

Is there anything you hope people take away from your work - from the residency and in general?

TJ: I hope that they connect. I want everyone to have their own experience when viewing my art, particularly my portraits. I feel like they all have light and dark and all want to tell you a story. You choose the one that is meant for you.

What's next for you?

TJ: I will be in another group show in Atlanta's ABV gallery, In the Round, which I'm very excited about next month. They do an amazing job of virtual tours as well as in-house appointments and a very eclectic curation.

Is there anything you would like to add?

TJ: Just a big thank you again to Sound View and The Halyard staff, as well as the community of Greenport. Everyone was so welcoming and inclusive. Greenport is pure magic and so was my experience.

The 2021 Uncommon Art Residency Program will run through the end of April.

For more information about the 2021 Uncommon Art Residency Program, visit soundviewgreenport.com.

Nicole is the Editor-in-Chief of Hamptons.com where she focuses on lifestyle, nightlife, and mixology. She grew up in the Hamptons and currently resides in Water Mill. www.hamptons.com NicoleBarylski NicoleBarylski

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