3.7 Editor's Pick
August 18, 2023

Bri Wenke with Waylon Lewis on Making Art, Feminism, & Taking off our Armor.


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Walk the Talk Show with Waylon Lewis presents:

Waylon talks with artist Bri Wenke about art, feminism, community, and “taking off our armor.”

Bri is a contemporary figurative painter and installation artist with work that often evokes strength in vulnerability. Her work is also powerfully about community. ⁠

“Art is an expression, of course. It’s communication. It’s a language, really, a vocabulary. I’d like to think that it’s important: when you’ve been at your lowest low, maybe you’ve read a poem or you hear a line in music or you saw a piece of artwork and you’re like, ‘holy sh*t, someone else has thought that before. Someone else has felt that before.’

And that’s really powerful and it can make you feel like you’re not alone, and that there is some hope. I think that’s a very powerful thing.” ~ Bri Wenke

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“The art that I’m trying to create is a bit more honest and honesty is where it’s beautiful, I think, and where you can create something, visceral. I’m trying to convey an emotional quality. I’m trying to say, ‘how does it feel?’ We know what it looks like. We know what beauty looks like. But what’s happening underneath it all? How is your body carrying the stories? How is it hanging on to trauma?” ~ Bri Wenke

Waylon: “Sometimes being soft is one of the hardest things.”

Bri: “It is. It’s very hard. It takes work to soften, and let down your guard. But I’m getting there, slowly, and maybe that’s kind of metaphorical in the work.” 

Bri is on Instagram; follow here. Check out her website as well for news about her work.

“I’d never really stopped to really process, much. I feel like I’m finally looking at the ways I’ve been carrying so much and I didn’t even know it. I think Brene Brown refers to it as body armor, and that’s a really nice visual, tangible thing to think about.

It’s like you’ve got all this body armor on. And it serves a purpose, right? It helps you survive whatever you’ve got to survive in life, but then you get to a certain point…You’ve got to take off that armor.

It’s no longer serving you.” ~ Bri Wenke

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