Jaime Schmidt Art | People, Places & Things in Buffalo

Where I started:

“I began as a child-a curious drawer, painter, tree climber, dreamer. I would ask my parents for 6 mattresses for my birthday, for thousands of cotton balls, for 20 kiddy pools. I wanted to use space. I would rearrange my room, create clubhouses with friends, I was trying to create a new world in every way.”


Art Installation:

“I went to school for painting. As I grew as a painter, my eyes were opened to the freedom of creation. As I was exploring ideas for my thesis I said to my professor “Well I had a dream about this room…I really want to create it” and she replied “Well, then do it”. That was simply all I needed to realize – with art anything is possible. Rather than creating a window to the world through a 2D plane, I can create a real, tangible experience for an audience.’

Any Hiccups?

“My process relies on transformation and evolution. If any difficulties arise- I view it as a part of the work. I am not trying to make something perfect- I allow materials and space to tell me what to do-like the abstract expressionists, and the Japanese Zen painters and sculptors.”

Buffalo Inspiration:

“Buffalo has allowed my process to remain experimental. The industrial spaces have given me an opposition to work with. Placing an organic sculpture into an industrial space has opened my mind to the symbols within deterioration. I grew up in Holland, NY and have been in the city for about 5 years now. I think that subconsciously my work echoes my environment, although I am trying to achieve something more universal. The art community here is extremely tight knit and welcoming. I feel very comfortable sharing my work thanks to the community (464 gallery, Sugar City, Dreamland).”

Artists I admire right now:

“Andrea Zittel, Marina Ambramovic, Ernesto Neto, Eva Hesse, and James Turrell.”

Favorite Thing to look forward in Buffalo Art….

“Dana Mcknight and Mickey Harmon’s collaborative graphic novel.”

Something about the Silo Project:

“I got the idea for this installation when experiencing performances in the space. I had such an array of overwhelming feelings- transcendental, connected, alone, small, large, weightless, triumphant, etc. I envisioned a space that could echo these feelings. The Just Buffalo Literary Center presents Silo City Reading Series had asked me to create something for their July Reading. I immediately had come up with a dozen sketches of what the space could be, and ultimately narrowed my vision down to one image I had seen in a meditative dream. I wanted to create a space that felt dreamlike, pure, and light. I wanted the fabric to extend to the top of the elevator to create the feeling of ascension.”

“While creating the installation I realized how the structure I was creating was giving the space a femininity in which it had lacked. I found a polarity between the hard cement walls and the soft fabric- capturing the light coming through the window. Although the end result looks extremely delicate and light, it took a tremendous amount of labor. Using a pulley to hoist the fabric into the air, I tediously hand sewed and manipulated fabric for 120 feet.”

“The end result “Breathing Space” is a product of my time right now in Buffalo, NY…both personally, as well as with the community. This project has been funded entirely by local musicians, artists, local cocktail bars, and patrons of all of these. Donations ranged from $5-$200 to create something they can experience inside the reused grain elevators. This in itself is an example of how the community here is truly supportive to arts and culture.”

What do you think?

Written by Beth Insalaco
Beth is co-founder of Yeah! Buffalo and owner of Beth Insalaco Photography. Instagram: @bethinsalaco