Patrick Schmidt, M.F.A.
Professor of Art
Patrick Schmidt is an Associate Professor of Art at Washington & Jefferson College. His exhibition record includes solo and group shows in Kansas City, St. Paul, Florence Italy, Santa Monica, Washington D.C., and New York City. His paintings have been featured in New American Paintings and can be found in several corporate and private collections throughout the U.S. and Europe. He lives in Pittsburgh with his wife and two dogs. He enjoys playing the cello, listens to “New Music,” loves to cook, and practices yoga regularly.
He began at W&J in the fall of 2002 and he teaches all levels of painting, drawing, two and three-dimensional design, and graphic design and has taught printmaking, screen-printing and digital imaging. His extracurricular teaching activities include taking students regularly to Pittsburgh, New York City and Washington, D.C. on art-related trips. He has also led student travel trips to Italy, Spain, Eastern Europe (Budapest, Hungary; Vienna, Austria; Krakow, Poland; and Prague, Czech Republic) and Berlin, Germany.
His research has the question, what does it mean to be living in the digital world? Life is moving at a faster pace today than at any other time in recorded history. With so much information at our fingertips, we choose what we want to encounter and delete what we don’t, thereby, composing ourselves through what we selectively see, hear, absorb, etc. It follows, then, that our identities develop out of an exaggerated conceit in which everything happens (and is restricted from happening) at once. In some ways, we lose our authentic selves in the process of constructing and believing our own mythologies. From this assessment emerges a new threat that asks, “Are we better off with the tools of technology?”
Personal statement on his work:
Using pattern as a metaphor, my work explores cultural, social, and personal identity in the digital age. Initially, I appropriate image patterns from a variety of sources then reduce them via technology to a simple line drawing. Next, I overlay several images in order to disrupt their individual patterns and suggest one all-embracing design. I use ancient and contemporary archetypes as a starting point in much of this work. While the prehistoric spiral continues to inspire and ground me in the natural/spiritual world, when juxtaposed against the digitized shapes from contemporary patterns, it reveals a not-yet-familiar world. Similarly, as a painter, I value the primacy of color in my work. Because pigment suggests inner energy, enhances ties to identity and strengthens cultural bonds, I manipulate the combined effect of line and color into cultural mythology in which everything happens at once.
For more information, see www.patrickschmidtstudio.com