Timothy Gaewsky

Timothy Gaewsky

Artist, Founder/President, Art Handler

January 3, 2013


Launch Pad Cooperative, Toledo Museum of Art


In June of 2012, a new institution for hard-working artists and creative writers popped up in Downtown Toledo. Since then, Launch Pad Cooperative has exhibited several solo shows featuring its core members, a series of group exhibitions and several poetry readings. At the heart of Launch Pad's success is artist and gallery founder Timothy Gaewsky. We caught up with Tim to find out more about his upcoming solo exhibit "Chasing Rainbows," his recent travel experience to Miami, and why Toledo is an ideal city to start an artist cooperative.


Tell us more about some of your past projects?
This year I founded Launch Pad Coopertive, an artist-run contemporary art space, located in the Davis Building. We had our inaugural opening exhibition in June and are currently exhibiting solo exhibitions of LPC core members each month.

What current projects are you working on?
I'm currently working on my solo exhibition at Launch Pad, 'Chasing Rainbows' that opens January 11 6-9pm and will run through February 8, 2013. The exhibition will continue my examination of the relationship between desire and materialism and the ways in which desire for commodities, fortune, and instant gratification are facilitated through visual stimulation. The work will consist of paintings, a large installation and a tableau with a slot machine with tokens that visitors can play.

What advantages does being in Northwest Ohio/Toledo offer your efforts?
One of the big advantages of being in Toledo is the affordability and availability of commercial spaces. I wanted to open a gallery for a while and it seemed like this was the right place to do it. It would have been much more difficult to start a venture like this in a bigger city. In terms of being a working artist in Toledo, the main advantage for me is the low cost of living. I'm able to afford an apartment with a studio and not have to have multiple jobs to just pay the bills.

Tell us about one of your greatest successes.
One of the greatest successes in my art career happened this past November. I was selected over thousands of artists as one of four artists who won a national competition at ArtSlant. The four winning artists represented ArtSlant at Aqua Art Miami, an art fair that happens every December in conjunction with Miami Basel. The outcome from this opportunity was enormous. I received international exposure, selling a piece to a collector in Italy and two pieces to a collector in the UK. I also made valuable connections which I anticipate to prove beneficial in the future.

Tell us who or what gives you inspiration?
Inspiration comes in many forms and effect different areas for me. For instance, when I'm working in the studio I gain inspiration from diverse sources such as carnival games, scratch-off lottery tickets, toy packaging designs, pinball and slot machine graphics and 8-bit video games. As an artist I believe it's so important to be constantly looking at art, i.e. going to galleries and museums in bigger cities like New York and browsing the internet for new art (and artist) discoveries. I get inspired when I find work that communicates so deeply that it leaves me speechless or viewing work that is utterly impressive on multiple levels. That's what inspires me to keep making art.

Tell us about your background.
I was born and raised in the Cleveland area. I received my BFA in Painting from The Cleveland Institute of Art and earned an MFA in Visual Culture, with a focus on Time-based Media from Vermont College of Fine Art. After grad school I taught at the College for Creative Studies in Detroit for a few years before moving to Toledo four years ago to accept a position as Art Handler at The Toledo Museum of Art.

Do you have a motto or favorite quote you try to live by?
“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery - celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: 'It’s not where you take things from - it’s where you take them to.'” -Jim Jarmusch

My favorite place to chill locally is . . .
My studio.

My favorite natural space in the Toledo area is . . .
Oak Opening Preserve.

When I’m not working hard, I can always be found at . . .
I always seem to be working, whether at the museum, in the studio or on something related to Launch Pad. I have very little free time.


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