One of the cherished afternoons I shared with my father, this past summer, was a visit to Al Gerritsen’s studio and wood shop. Something I really admire about this artist is his humility about his craft. He is selfless. Just recently I had a conversation with a couple of my artist-friends and more and more we notice the self-absorbed ego that gets a tad too large in the role of ‘artist’. It’s almost as if a particular type of narcissism has taken hold. Is this the only way that a person can be ‘known’? Or if this is the only way, is it best to be unknown? Something to think about. Al is one of the most inspired and prolific artists I know.
With his particular connections with and history in Saskatchewan, it ended up being a bit of an exchange of memories between the two men. That was lovely to see. I know there are many wondrous art spaces and experiences that can be had in this city, but sometimes it comes down to sharing time with artists in their modest, but inspiring spaces…their studios. I like that nothing is staged in Al’s studio. A person is able to get the true sense of the production happening…how the tools are stored and used…and the evolution of amazing works. There is no room here for candles and fairy lights. It is a working space that is filled with energy and love.
Again, I want to express my gratitude for the work of Al Gerritsen. His work surrounds us and his skill is exceptional. Thanks for your willingness to share some time with Dad, Al, and to give us your stories.