Choctaw-Cherokee Artist Jeffrey Gibson Shows Us His Hudson Studio, Where He Riffs on Native American Iconography

Katie White , ArtNet News, April 25, 2023

Artnet News


The artist invited us into the former schoolhouse, where he and his team create electrically colorful works.


Jeffrey Gibson’s studio could be considered his biggest work of art. 

Just about a decade ago, Gibson undertook a major project, converting a former schoolhouse in Hudson, New York, into a 14,000-square-foot workshop and studio. Ten years later, the project is nearly complete. Located on four acres of rolling country land, the studio is, by all accounts, a place of beauty—filled with handwoven rugs, art Gibson admires, and music (always music). It is here, in relative isolation, that Gibson and his studio team plan, think, and make—but also dance, dine, and laugh. “I like to have everything in one place,” says Gibson. 


It’s been full days in the studio lately. The Choctaw-Cherokee artist, who is celebrated for his electrically colorful multimedia works that fuse Native American iconography with imagery from contemporary culture, has a busy few months ahead. Last weekend, Gibson presented The Many Worlds, a suspended mobile that models solar system presented at Art Market San Francisco fair in conjunction with ICA San Francisco—the exhibition “This Burning Call” closed at the museum on Sunday. Now Gibson is gearing up for his next solo exhibition “Once More With Feeling” at Jessica Silverman Gallery in San Francisco in June, followed by solo shows at both Stephen Friedman, London, and Sikkema Jenkins, New York, in the fall.  


With this chock-full exhibition calendar ahead, we caught up with Gibson at his studio. He told us what is on his playlist, how he creates a comfortable studio space, and what he does right before he leaves the studio. 


JG: I moved up to Hudson, New York, in 2012, with my partner. We were looking to leave the city and we said let’s give it a shot and see if we’re happy. The studio was a turn-of-the-century schoolhouse in the Hamlet of Clare, just outside of Hudson. We saw it when we first moved up here. I wasn’t in a position to buy a studio then, but a few years later, it was still available. I’d never owned a building before. I’d never had to renovate a building, so I was naive. The renovation process has been doable but has been extensive. We’re still in the process of renovating to its ultimate form, but I’d say we’re about 75 percent there. I had never had this much space before. When you first move into a space this large, it feels overwhelming. And then over the years, it gets filled up!  



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