Joe Wilks Intellectual Profile

1. I am now a senior here at CU, getting close which is both awesome and scary. My field of study is studio arts with an emphasis in ceramic sculpture. I started my artistic endeavors in photography around 2003 attending the Art Institute of Colorado (which in my opinion needs to have the name art taken out of its name), graduating with a decent portfolio focusing in fashion. I spent a few years assisting in New York, finding that it wasn’t what I was looking for as a career, and that I wasn’t finished searching for an artistic voice. In 2007 I moved to Breckenridge, where I took a class in ceramics and here I am 5 years later, working to refine that voice and navigate my way into the best possible mindset and situation to leave school to a long career spent in the studio

2. In 2008 I experienced a Dallas Art Museum show called Take Your Time by Olafur Eliason. The museum has some very large galleries so Eliason’s interactive and kinetic sculptures had a lot of room to breathe and to be intimate with. I remember turning a corner to find this large fan suspended from a long chain in this massive room in which the fan was just cruising back and forth in the most random fashion. It was so fun and entrancing and was beautiful to watch almost like an interpretive dance. Another piece was a blacked out room with a few intense spotlights in the middle that penetrated through a cascade of mist that fell from overhead. the effect was amazingly serene and beautiful. You could walk around it seeing the light play in different ways and you could walk into it if you wanted. There are so many other installations to talk about but I will keep this short. Overall, the interaction (and how it varied) with his work is something that inspired me, along with  the fact that his art touches into science.

3. I have been reading Stranger In A Strange Land by Robert Heinlein recently. I am almost finished. This is the first book in a while that has grabbed my attention to the point of reading it in a week, not to mention while school is starting up. This is a science fiction novel written in 1961, set in the 21st century, that is about a man that has been raised by Martians. Upon returning to Earth in his early twenties, he experiences for the first time other humans in their own environment to which he is definitely alien. This book touches into politics, economics, relationships, human fragility and human behavior both good and bad. Like the Dune novels it is brilliantly written and was also way ahead of  its time.

4. I am an avid sports guy. I love court and field sports just like the vast majority of the world, but especially tennis and basketball. I am also a politico, paying much attention to the state of our union and the yahoos that supposedly are looking out for all of our best interests.

5. Not much of a blog guy, but I do read the Huffington Post pretty religiously. I find the constantly changing and well written articles and editorials, which are written by a a wide variety of authors, to be engaging and intellectual, not to mention factual.

6. The Arab Spring is the biggest world changing event to happen since the fall of the Berlin Wall. The fact that it started from one man self immolating in Tunisia and spread throughout the world including inspiring the Occupy Wall Street movement here and in other western nations is awesome. People are standing up and making their case that the powers that be, that are at times ruthless and most of the time are self interested dictators, have had their time and will no longer be tolerated in this world.

7. I don’t know that there is one article in particular. I read so many of them. Most of the ones that are bringing out the truths of the disparity in income in the US between the shrinking middle class and the uber wealthy are sad and angering to read, but also wonderful in that we are having this conversation. Red , blue, liberal, conservative, it doesn’t matter, because in the end we all are a part of the middle class that wants a fairer shake at making a better life for ourselves and our fellow citizens.

8. Please, please, please go to TED Talks and watch as many of them as you can. If you have and Idevice, download the App for TED. The website is

9. I have been to the DAM and the MCA Denver, but have not been to BMoCA. I hate to say it, but I have not really liked the shows brought in at the MCA the 4 or 5 times that I have been with the exception of the found Russian constructivist paintings show that may or may not have been legit. There were so many of them. I really enjoyed the large wall display with 40 + paintings stacked one on top of another 4 rows high and how many across. It was a great display and really visually stimulating. I feel like most of the time I don’t come away from my visits there with any awe or inspiration which sucks. Maybe now that I am studying contemporary art I will have a better understanding and appreciation for some of the shows. The Marvelous Mud show at the DAM was a lot of fun. Walter McConnell’s piece was great to see in person.

One Response

  1. I hope i can be as passionate as you in my art, at least in the school aspect of it. I like that you didn’t just marry one medium when you started out with photography. I am a sophomore, heading into junior year. When I first came out here I thought I was going to emphasize in photography but I was introduced to painting and now I want to do both, as well as explore so many other mediums.

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