We had the good fortune of connecting with Jackson Boelts and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jackson, why did you decide to pursue a creative path?
I always loved drawing and found joy in sketching the world around me. In third grade, I would continually ask permission to “clean the art teachers’ room” when I just craved the multi-sensory experience of the colored chalks, paints, and paper inside. This exploration opened into a whole world of purposeful play with the endless forms, textures, and smells that are created when different pigments are mixed or used on varying surfaces. This fascination has lasted a lifetime and I have pursued it with love, fascination, passion and, financial gain my whole life.
Of course, creativity is not confined to making art or music… creativity is, at its core, problem-solving/exploration.
As a business owner and Professor of Art for 43 years at the University of Arizona, I have been very fortunate to be able to share my creative skills with students, interns, business associates, and clients. The process of creating visual solutions encompasses much more than just design. My creativity is expressed through conceptual and functional aesthetic visual solutions.
Finally, creative exploration should always include an element of altruism. One of my most deeply held beliefs is the need to pay it forward and help your community
1. Persevere towards a goal even as it evolves.
2. Look for opportunities for new growth in unexpected places—those branches are where the fruit is.
2. Be honest and don’t burn bridges.
3. Thank your mentors that have helped you on your way.
4. Pay it forward and help your community.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
In my landscape watercolors, my goal is to bring the wilderness to those who cannot travel there on their own. My abstract watercolors search for “an essence of landscape.” In my DNA mono-prints—I have started with computer images of landscape ripping digital codes of my pictures and laying these alphabetic images back onto the photographic images and then printing these onto watercolor paper where I create a third image of a landscape. These images developed into using DNA coding then creating landscapes with images of cotton, maize, grass, and the human genome.
I am concerned with the education of our changing environment—the “Human Disconnect” series, which is a group of large-format watercolors where, in a murky landscape, the figures’ legs do not touch the ground. I have depicted children in war with my “War Zone” large format watercolors. I have also brought concepts on social issues into my current posters. Border issues, nuclear power, voting rights, and human rights have been elucidated with typography and image.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
When visitors come in to Tucson, I first take them to Eegees and then for a Sonoran hotdog at El Nene’s. Longer day trips can include the Arizona Sonora Desert Museum, a visit to Signal Hill for petroglyph viewing. Top off a great day with a streetcar ride down 4th Avenue and to downtown bars and restaurants.
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would like to recognize Rob Nicoletti, owner of WHYFOR for recommending me for this great publication. He is a wonderful past student and dear friend.
My mom Carol for starting me on this path, my brother Eric, and wife Alison for keeping me on this exciting career choice. And thanks to my students who have made this path interesting along the way.