Have you checked out our O HORIZON exhibit in the Clifford Gallery? It’s on now through July 19. Curated by painter Hilary Irons, the show features work by Hilary Irons and Jarid del Deo, the two artists featured in this blog post.

Who are you?

Hilary: I am a painter; I am also a teacher and a curator.

Jarid: I am a thing that tries to live slowly and deliberately.










How did you get into art?
Hilary:  I studied traditional academic drawing as a child, with Sigmund Abeles, and continued to study visual art in college and grad school. Picture books, as well as older relatives who were artists and musicians, gave me a sense of focus when I was a kid.

Jarid: As far back as I can recall, I was into art making as a way to see and understand my surroundings.

How does the environment/natural world factor into your art?
Hilary:  This is the primary source of information in my work; my visual response to plant growth patterns and the space (physical and psychological) of the landscape (natural and built) is central to my formal and thematic process.

Jarid: My environment is my main source of inspiration and subject matter.

What’s the most recent thing that’s moved you?
Hilary:  Sura 113 in the Quran, Al Falaq (The Daybreak).

Jarid: The drama series Chernobyl.

What other artists should we check out?
Hilary: Breehan James and Alexae Levin, over at Perimeter this summer!

Jarid: Warren Dykeman, Dawn Cerny

What advice do you have for younger/emerging artists?
Hilary:  Read books on paper…read fiction. Novels and short stories are important cultural forms that some younger artists are currently less curious about.

Jarid: Take care of your health, first. You can’t sustain good art making when you are not in your best health.

In addition to being a painter, Hilary is also a curator–she curated curated O HORIZON. We asked: how did you come to know Jarid’s work and what made you want to include his work in this show?
Hilary:  I have known Jarid’s work for 20 (or more) years; he was one of my art-and-music heroes when I was a young art school dropout living in Newmarket, NH. My friends Chris and Molly had a painting of a water tower that he made. Every time I saw this painting, I was envious of its ease and gentleness. I feel like that painting was a real influence on me in terms of how I was trying to see myself as an artist. My aim in life, at that time, was to inhabit a psychological space where I could make a painting as unfussy and emotionally clear as that one (this goal took a long time to achieve…not sure if I’ve reached it, honestly). When I finally met Jarid years later, I was so impressed that he was able to maintain this natural, generous spirit in his painting practice as it has advanced technically. His focus on the built vs the natural environment is similar to my thematic approach, while the paintings themselves are quite different in visual effect. The dialogue our paintings have is really tense and interesting. So I was really excited about the opportunity to see them together in an intentional and composed situation.

Jarid performed at Waterfall Arts years ago, as Unbunny at the Free Range Music Festival. We asked: how does it feel to come back to Waterfall in a different capacity?
Jarid: I love coming to Belfast for anything, but Waterfall Arts is definitely a special place. Besides the two times that I have been to Waterfall for my own work, I have also visited to check out other exhibits (and the farmers market).

Now about us. What’s your favorite thing about Waterfall Arts?
Hilary:  It’s a tie between the fantastic people and the amazing schoolhouse architecture!  I love how welcoming everyone is, and I am so impressed by how the character of the building is still intact.  I know you might have plans for the structure, but I feel like this character is permanent and very benevolent.

Jarid: Having a place that gets people to come out and witness visual and performative art as a community is beneficial to all, especially in a small town like Belfast that is far away from a big city.

Anything else you’d like to add?
Hilary:  Thank you, I’m so grateful to the welcoming community in Belfast and at Waterfall.

Check out O HORIZON in our Clifford Gallery, May 24 – July 19. Our gallery is open Tuesday – Friday from 10 AM – 5 PM, and by appointment.

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