My name is Blake Van Egeren, and I am a self-taught artist currently living in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Throughout my life I have always been creating and expressing myself through photography, videography, music, writing, and over the last 5 years, painting. I have always had a relentless creative energy, but never fully understood what that meant to myself and how necessary it was to express it. Over the last few years, I have started a journey of understanding myself as an artist, and that has lead me to where I am currently.
I earned a bachelor's degree in Urban Studies from the University of Milwaukee in the Fall of 2013. After my graduation, I was accepted into the Americorps apprenticeship program Public Allies for the 2014 - 2015 year. Public Allies is a 10 month long leadership and personal development program, centered around the values of collaboration, continuous learning, inclusion & diversity, integrity, and asset based thinking. I believe my Urban Studies degree gave me many lenses in which to look through and explore what I see in the world and the Public Allies program gave me the knowledge, experience and understanding of my place and responsibility of being within that world.
While in the program for 10 months, one of my main goals was finding my passion and purpose in life. While in this program I started to paint. I found myself both creating this new identity and healing myself through painting and the arts.
It is through this journey that I have earned my master’s degree in Art Therapy and Counseling, graduating in October of 2019 from Southwestern College, located in Santa Fe, New Mexico.
Art, creating, self-expression, life and growth are all the same thing and mean everything to me.
In my art, I explore the ideas of what it means to be human. Who we are, what we are, and what this is.
I appreciate and honor the very act of being in this world.
I explore birth and death and the current journey in which we are on.
In my journey, exploring these things has brought me peace and comfort within my life.
They have allowed me to find purpose and understanding of my place in this world.
In my process, I try to find the potential in all that I see and what is put in front of me.
I try to be out of my head and in this place of experience with the world around me.
The act of creating is a delicate balance and conversation between myself and the items in which I’m interacting with. In a greater sense, I believe the act of life is a delicate balance and conversation between myself and the world in which I exist.
These experiences are all part of my journey, and that journey influences my expression as an artist. My art has meant many different things to me at many different times in my life.
Through this journey, I have learned that the truth can never be certain if you need creative/innovative approaches to the problem that you are pursuing. Belief in the ultimate truth of the matter clouds your mind, preventing connections that lead to the path of solutions.
These ideas resonate very much in my approach to art. I throw myself into a piece, into chaos and into emotion, and learn to reconnect the dots as I find the path to what is trying to be expressed and formulated.
There are always more paths and ideas to be explored and worked towards. I often can fall and land on another path, but I work to make sense of where I landed, and find the direction that I need to find. I do not regret any path, as they are all a part of the beautiful process and journey in which the overall piece exists.
Artist in Residency
Jazz Gallery Artist in Residency
November 5th 2015 - February 15th 2016 at the Jazz Gallery ( Milwaukee, WI )
"Lead In " Group Show
October 2016 –November 1st 2016 at the Southwestern College (Santa Fe, NM)
"Artist in Residency Show" Group Show
January 8th 2016 - January 30th 2016 at the Jazz Gallery (Milwaukee, WI)
“My Being” Solo Artshow by Blake Van Egeren
March 21st 2015 – March 26th 2015 at Sky High Skateshop (Milwaukee, WI)
“This Is It” Skateboard Photography Show
March 27th 2015 – March 29th 2015 at Skate High Skateshop (Milwaukee, WI)
“Marrow: MKE art from the inside” Group Show
October 25th 2013 – October 28th 2013 at Jackpot Gallery (Milwaukee, WI)