"Every day feels like you're throwing yourself off of a cliff. You jump and hope the wings grow anew each day."
April 21, 2016
Get to know Sean Hennessey, a long time resident and artist in the Gateway Arts District.
How did you discover the medium you currently work in?
During Art-O-matic in 2002, I met Tim Tate and Erwin Timmers. They had been running Meltdown Studio in the old Millennium Arts Center in Southwest DC. They suggested I start turning my fiberglass sculptures into glass. Once they formed The Washington Glass School, I began working with them. First small pieces of glass were a part of mixed media pieces. Gradually the glass became more and more important and for the past handful of years it has been my primary medium.
How do you define "artist"?
I don't and wouldn't want to.
How did you discover the Gateway Arts District?
I was working in the area before the arts district was formed. I came here because I began working for the Shakespeare Theatre who had a paint shop and storage space in Mount Rainier in mid-1990's. Mostly I've been here ever since.
If you could give your younger self a piece of advice about being an artist, what would it be?
I would advise my younger self to focus more and to show up to more arts events. I would tell my younger self to ask for help, to work harder, and to think bigger.
What drives you?
What drives me is the potential to inspire and feel the magic of creation.
What is your greatest challenge as an artist?
Every day feels like you're throwing yourself off of a cliff. You jump and hope the wings grow anew each day. The lack of stability is both intoxicating and terrifying. There's no safety net for me. If I fail, I’m on the streets.
What are you working on right now?
Applications for exhibitions, residencies, and grants. Planning the pieces, I'll make for the coming year. Organizing the events and shows for Otis Street Arts Project.
"Make time for art. There are a thousand other things happening in your life, but art is important to you, so make time for it."
May 12, 2016
"If I call myself an artist, I have to prove it and create dialogues that invite investigation."
April 27, 2016
"I think of the word 'art' similarly to the word 'natural', often used yet the definition will go on indefinitely."