April 08, 2014


A Quick Q & A with Lubbock Arts Festival Artist, Justin Deurmyer

This weekend’s annual Lubbock Arts Festival will feature over one hundred exhibitions, kid-friendly activities, art demonstrations and more.

We spoke to a local artist, Justin Deurmyer, about his experiences with art and what he is looking forward to at this year’s event.
justin deurmyer
When it comes to art, what is your favorite medium?
I have actively painted in oil and acrylic for over 30 years and still enjoy getting out my brushes from time to time. About 20 years ago I became attracted to sculpture and the use of more 3 dimensional mediums. Seven years ago I became serious about taking this 3 dimensionality to a new level and explored acoustic string instruments as my choice medium. I love the idea of crafting in natural materials with simple hand tools. The idea of taking a piece of timber, a log if you will, and elevating it to a sinuous 3 dimensional work that is beautiful to see, hold, play, and hear is exciting.

What do you want people to take away when they see your work?

Hmmm, obviously a purchase comes to mind first! Just kidding.  I hope people identify the passion that goes into the designing and building of my instruments. My works all contain my personality; they have humor, joy, depth, quirkiness  all of my emotions are captured in the timbers that form these instruments. Many of the components, angles, joints, shapes, ideas and even poetry that I put inside my guitars and instruments are hidden forever inside the instrument body once it is assembled. Many of these items are fundamental to the sound and reliability of the instrument, yet the care and consideration that placed them there will never be evident to the purchaser. My choice to use sustainable timbers coupled with traditional yet time consuming finishes that are safe for me, the environment and the owners of my instruments are my ways of passing on my values and personality to future generations of musician.

Tell us about yourself and how did you get into art in the first place?

I have been drawn to art since my earliest years. As a child, I remember watching a great show on PBS about the artist Jackson Pollock. Of course, this led me to inadvertently splash a mural across the walls of my parents’ dining room as I worked to create my own masterpiece. I had very supportive and patient parents, and as a result, I have paintings hanging in homes and businesses across the country. My career has included: ownership of The Eccentric Uncle gallery in Dallas, TX, and the management of or directorship of nine galleries in Beverly Hills, CA dealing in works from European Impressionism and California Plein- Aire Painting to Ethnographic Art.

Lubbock Arts Festival

For those that haven’t come to the Arts Festival before, what types of things would you recommend them to see and interact with?

I think people will naturally seek out what they are most interested in and the Arts Festival is great because there is something for everyone. It is also a great venue to explore and experience something new and different.

What do you enjoy most about participating in the Arts Festival?

I love seeing all the wide-eyed children exploring and connecting to art. Last year I met a family whose Dad was one of those wide-eyed children decades ago who in turn had brought his children to explore and appreciate the music, dance, art and culture the Festival delivers.

Lubbock’s art community is growing. Why do you think that is and how will it benefit locals and visitors who want to engage with our local artists?

Lubbock has a rich history of artistic growth and exploration. I am certain the recent growth has come from many sources, but I especially want to identify institutions like the Lubbock Arts Alliance as well as the Buddy Holly Center. Growth has also come up from our great small venues like the Tornado Gallery and the Yoga Bean to name a couple. Supporting local artists helps them pay their mortgages, it puts food on their tables, it pays for their children’s karate lessons and it puts tax dollars back into our community. Locals and visitors benefit from the diversity of art, music, theater and dance available. By supporting our local artists, musicians, actors and dancers, these locals and visitors become active participants in art’s creation. I think it is much more exciting to be a participant then merely a customer buying something that is mass produced in a foreign country only for the highest profit.

Just the facts:

When:  Friday, April 11 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Saturday, April 12 from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.
Sunday, April 13 from 12 – 5 p.m.

Where: Lubbock Memorial Civic Center, 1501 Mac Davis Lane

Cost: $4 adults and $2 for children 12 and under


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