Teen artist to show in final High Street Gallery Show
18-year-old Presley Landry reflects on when she almost failed assignments her high school art class. Now she is preparing for her first solo exhibition at High Street Gallery, November 17.
Landry started doing small sketches last year and went on to submit work into The Art Studio Inc. Tenant Show and Protégé competition; The latter in which she won. She spoke with us about her self-taught artistry in her grandmother’s loft, where she works on most of her art, in an old, but charming, building on the historic Port Neches Avenue.
Landry focuses on shapes and the human body, in a style she pens as cubism with a focus on realism.
“I started with cubism featuring one-part realism, which was organs,” said Landry. “I have an anatomy book and I flip through it choosing the organ I want. It teaches me colors in realism. I picked out my primary colors and I would mix what I wanted for the organs and bones out of those colors.”
In an attempt to remain completely original, Landry said she tries to cut herself off from outward influences.
“When I first started making stuff I really tried to get off social media, I got off Twitter where I followed a lot of art accounts,” said Landry. “If I think about how someone else draws a hand or foot in cubism, it’s just lines and shapes, so it directly translates. If I don’t look, then I won’t be influenced, so I try to know zero things about any artists.”
“I think about the time when people didn’t have art school and art books and that’s what I want to do. I know I’m able to replicate something, so I don’t want to,” said Landry. “People always try to talk to me about Picasso, but I have tried to not know one thing about Picasso. If I start drawing a hand the way he draws a hand then I’m instantly copying Picasso.”
In order to find a more workable and portable medium, Landry has traded in some of her acrylic paint for leather. Attendees can expect to see mosaics and her recognizable touch of organs in leather at her show.
“Everything for my Victoria House show is recycled leather. I bought all of it at an estate sale and blew up one of my drawings and made it out of the leather,” said Landry. “It takes me a lot less time, and it’s a lot more free-form than a big block of wood.”
Landry says that parting with her work is difficult, but the next step for her.
“I feel like this is the beginning of me knowing if I want to sell art, not just a hobby, especially big gallery piece,” said Landry. “Money isn’t my motivator, so it will really depend on the reward I feel from selling my art.”
While this exhibition is a start for Landry, it’s the final closing show for High Street Gallery.
“I’ve noticed Presley being passionate about her work and interested in learning new things about art, and especially since she’s so young, it’s good that she can get a strong foothold here in Beaumont before inevitably moving onward,” said Olivia Busceme. “I wanted our little gallery to go out with a bang and I know Presley has been diligent in her work and will give this show her all.”
Presley Landry’s exhibition will be on view one-night-only 7 p.m.-11 p.m. Nov. 17 at High Street Gallery. For more information, visit “High Street Gallery” on Facebook.