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Today is:
An Interview with Darla Jackson
By Clayton Ruley

Editors Note: brings you artists from all around the world and this one is from right here in Philly. World Family please meet Darla Jackson! (GC) : Thanks for doing this interview give us your name and what were you doing before this?


Darla Jackson (DJ) : Hey, thanks for having me. My name is Darla Jackson and I just got done working on my house for the day.


GC : Where you from and where you at now?


DJ : I'm from New Jersey originally but bought a house in North Philly a little over a year ago. We're in the process of renovating it now to make room for 2 large sculpture studios...and fixing everything that was wrong with the house when we bought it!


GC : Ok, now tell about your love for art when did it begin and how was it cultivated?


DJ : I've loved art for as long as I can remember. I recall being in absolute awe during trips to the Philadelphia Art Museum in the 4th and 5th grades. I kept up with making art through high school and decided to further my skills by attending Moore College of Art, where I found my love for sculpture. I graduated with a degree in Sculpture and have become so much more serious about my work since then through making my own work and interacting with other artists. Philly is really a great place for that.


GC : What kind of art do you do and what's needed for that skill?


DJ : I am a figurative sculpture working in clay and I make molds to cast the final piece in either plaster or bronze. I think that having a grasp on human anatomy is really a key factor to being able to do what I do, as well as just being able to look and translate what you see onto the clay.


GC : Where have we seen your art and we can we see it now and in the future?

DJ : Over the past year I have been in a few shows at different venues in the area including the Afif Gallery, Qbix Gallery, Muse Gallery and an alternative space, Studio C, which I've worked with in 2 shows. At the moment, I have 2 pieces in the faculty show at the Fleisher Art Memorial and am gearing up for a show featuring 3 life-size figures at Moore College in October of this year.


GC : For whom do you do your art for? What drives you to do your art despite working those hours to pay the bills? What is your future plans for your work and you in general?


DJ : First, I make my art for me. If I don't like what I'm making, I can't afford to invest my time into it. Secondly, I make my art for the general public. I want anyone to be able to see my work and appreciate it on some level, whether it's for the skill involved or the idea behind the piece. What drives me to make my art is the need to get my ideas out in the world and to see how they affect people. As for future plans I am going to continue making new work. I'd like to find representation at the right gallery for me and start getting a couple of solo shows lined up. I also want to continue to curate group shows and show the work of artists who I respect.


GC : Do you have a favorite piece or two?


DJ : Right now, my favorite piece is a small sculpture of my rabbit wearing a crow mask. It's a piece about the irony of hiding behind a scary mask when we're all just scared little rabbits deep down inside.


GC : What are you thankful for?


DJ : I am thankful for the support of my friends and family in whatever I decide to do. I am also thankful for the ability to express myself in a way that has potential to reach so many people.


GC : What makes you wonder about this world we live in?


DJ : So many things! But first and foremost, how people can be so hateful to each other. We're all here with the same universal goal, to live. Why can't we all support one another in that instead of fighting wars and letting people die over things like commodities? Life is too precious to be let go like that...everyone should have the same chance as anyone else in this world.


GC : What's downtime consist of for you?


DJ : My downtime is spent working on my house and spending some time with my friends and family.


GC : How important is the arts and the teaching of the arts to people everywhere?


DJ : The arts are so important to be taught to everyone, everywhere. The arts are not only enriching to the mind and soul, but they can be a great vehicle for change in the world. I recently became a faculty member of the Samuel Fleisher Art Memorial, which offers free and reduced tuition classes for all ages, which is a wonderful asset to have in Philadelphia. I'm excited because seeing people connect with their artistic sides, sometimes for the first time, just brings something out in them that is really amazing.


GC : Do you have something or someone you wouldn't make an art subject from?


DJ : I will use any subject matter that inspires me. I don't prefer to use images or subjects that have no meaning. I am very interested in symbolism and feel that every object is rich with meaning. I believe that each image used should always add something to the piece.


GC : Any suggestions for someone struggling to get their art or talents out there?


DJ : Just get started somehow. I was looking for a place to have shows and decided to curate a few myself. I've learned so much from doing that and have gained a lot of confidence and experience from it. Also, a network of like-minded people is so important to have around you. When you want to accomplish something, you will have a group of people to go to for advice or assistance. That is so valuable for any artist.


GC : Shoutouts to your peoples?


DJ : I'd like to give a shoutout to my other half, Justin Grant, who is also a sculptor. Our brains work together so well, I don't know what I'd do without him, also, my mom, Debi, and my dad, Andy, for all of their support. Lastly, I will give a shoutout to my brother Eric for picking his path and not wavering from it. He's so committed to his music and it's really inspiring.


GC : What do you think of change (think of's Uploading Change slogan)?


DJ : I think that change is a necessity. I love that you guys are out there making it known. I feel like that is what I'm trying to do with my art in a way...putting issues out there that will affect people.


Keep up the great work and thanks so much for having me!




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