Artist Statement by Jefferson Navicky




Prose


 


Joan Mitchell's “Ladybug” (1957). Credit From the Museum of Modern Art, New York/Estate of Joan Mitchell
Joan Mitchell’s “Ladybug” (1957). Credit From the Museum of Modern Art, New York/Estate of Joan Mitchell

 

I don’t believe in mastery, no masters of Chess or Painting or Parallel Parking or Barbeque.

I believe in Making.

I don’t believe in the Big Shots, nothing from the Academy.

I believe in Notes. And the perpetual process of taking them.

I believe in History.

I believe in Hot Sauce.

No curricula that reflects a deep respect for traditional forms of teaching which have produced master artists throughout the ages.

No schools or affiliations.

None of that.

Because I have no formal education, I have no allegiances, no biases, no pedagogically-imposed ideologies or styles. Also not much skill. I only have the island and the obligation to best represent it.

 

This piece is excerpted from Navicky’s novel, The House on Stilts.

Jefferson Navicky‘s work has been published in Smokelong Quarterly, Quickfiction, Hobart, The Conium Review, and Fairy Tale Review. He works as the archivist for the Maine Women Writers Collection, teaches English at Southern Maine Community College, and lives in Freeport, Maine with his wife.