Dan Corson is a local artist who is nationally recognized for creating dynamic, large-scale, conceptually driven public artworks, often utilizing a variety of materials and technologies, including light. His projects integrate works in state capitol buildings and light rail stations, at busy public intersections, and in quiet interpretive buildings, museums, galleries and meditation chambers. His work employs engaging visceral “experiences” that envelop the viewer and draw them into the artwork—sometimes as a co-creator.
How did you get your start as an artist?
I was always an artist even as a kid, expressing things in a variety of ways. My undergrad degree was split between marine biology and theater design. My interest was always in creating worlds and immersive environments—but now I have traded out the actors for the public moving around, in and through my spaces.
Tell me about your training and what inspires you.
My Master of Fine Arts is in sculpture, and certainly that had an influence on how I see, frame and analyze things. But theater helped me understand how to manipulate the viewer, employ effects, understand the physics and psychology of light. My inspirations come from the natural world and natural phenomena. I’m also deeply interested in perception and phenomenology, so naturally I am inspired by a handful of artists including James Turrell, Robert Irwin, Ann Hamilton and Tim Hawkinson.
I hope the pieces not only act to transform and shift people’s experiences, providing that aha moment, but also cause them to return to it over time to “see more.” I also want them to move you. I want you to have a feeling for it. True apathy, no feeling at all, is how I would gauge failure.
What are your aspirations for your work?
I hope my work can be seen in more museums. There is often a schism between public art and museum work and I hope that rift gets smaller. I also hope to work more internationally.
Corson Studios • 206.910.5669 • corsonart.com