Kristy Brucale Jach
Kristy Brucale Jach is an artist living and working in Boonton, NJ. She is co-owner, operator and art instructor at Speakeasy Art Gallery. She is also a founder and operator of Boonton Arts, a non-profit organization dedicated to transforming community through creativity. Kristy's art is broad in discipline including sculptures, murals, illustration, custom toys, portraits, restorations and more.
Q: Where do you live?
A: Boonton New Jersey
Q: Where is your studio?
A: I usually work at my home studio, we also have a gallery space Speakeasy Art.
Q: What’s your art background?
A: I have drawn since the day I could hold a crayon. I attended the Art Institute of Philadelphia from 95-97 for Visual Communications. After school I worked at Pearl Art on South Street in Philly for many years, I always say I learned even more there than at art school. I've been a graphic designer, a production artist, an art teacher, many different artistic endeavors.
Q: How did you get into art?
A: It's all I ever wanted. I worked hard for it practicing nonstop as kid. I don't know if I even had that much natural talent, but I wanted it so badly. I was extremely shy, so it was a great way to disappear into my own world. I would draw everything around me all the time. I wish I could channel that girl sometimes. Perhaps sometimes I do. My daughter is the same way, I really love that.
Q: What kind of art do you create?
A: I am a sculptor and illustrator but also work in many other mediums. Lately I have been doing a lot of sculpture and restorations.
Q: How long have you been in the art making business?
A: I have been an artist always but started selling art in my 20's in Philadelphia with my little company Figment Design. I made all sorts of things from jewelry, paintings, diaper cakes, portraits, design work, you name it. I'd make it. In my 30's I moved back to Morris County and got involved in the Boonton art scene when I met my husband and founder of Speakeasy Art Gallery, Paul Jach. I was a single mom and working my ass off to survive, my art got put on the back burner. He encouraged me and believed in me far beyond anything I believed in myself. He is my hero. He brought me back to life.
Q: Has your practice changed over time? Why/ how?
A: Life changes your work; it evolves with you whether you realize it or not. It's always happening and comes back around and through you again and again. I am a manic artist. When I start, I immerse myself and obsess until it is right. Sometimes it is all consuming. Sometimes I cannot create at all. It's physical and mental extremes that perhaps aren't always healthy but it's my process and I must follow. Luckily my family is super supportive and accepts me for all the extra that I am. Although sometimes they are less than thrilled eating dinner with a giant sculpture on the kitchen table.
Q: How do you structure your day/week? How do you balance your time in the studio with other commitments such as a part-time job, family, admin?
Q: What are you working on at the moment?
A: I wear many different hats. I'm a mom of 2 kids. I run Speakeasy Art Gallery and teach youth art lessons there 5-6 days a week in drawing, painting, sculpture and custom toy design. I'm also a founder of Boonton Arts Organization, a local non-profit dedicated to transforming community through creativity. We have a creative placemaking initiative bringing murals and creative installations to the town of Boonton including the Dog Days of Summer exhibit which is a charity public art project in its 9th year. My art and commissions are usually created late at night in my home studio.
A: At the moment I finally cleaned my studio lol. We just installed this year's Dog Days of Summer exhibition which will be on display through September 30th on Main Street in Boonton. My personal artistic contribution this year was The Guardians. They are on display in front of the Boonton Post Office and are my most ambitious of any sculptures I have created in the past. I am really proud of them.
Q: What is your favorite thing about being an artist professional?
A: I love being a lefty. Ha! I'm the proudest lefty you'll ever meet. I love doing what I love every day. Being a teacher rules, my students are rockstars and inspire me every day. Least favorite? The highs and lows of passion and inspiration and the anxiety in the balance.
Q: What inspires you?
A: My students, my family, music, love, sadness, misery, hope and of course furry creatures.
Q: What are a few of your big artistic goals?
Q: Who are your favorite artists/artworks?
A: I love Laurie Lipton. She is a god among us. Over the past 12 years we have shown so many incredible artists at Speakeasy Art Gallery. Each one has had a profound impact on me and as a collective we have really created something magic. I feel so lucky to have had the opportunity to know and work with each one of them. There are so many incredible artists in my life and in the universe that blow my mind daily. What a gift.
A: I want to make as much art as possible till I die. I want to provide artists and community opportunities to work together and enrich one another.
Q: What is your dream project?
A: I want to make a massive bronze one day. Something that matters and will endure.
Q: How do you stay connected and up to date with the art world?
A: Through friends and fellow artists, social media.
Q: What memorable responses have you had to your work?
A: I did a portrait of Anthony Luis Laureano Disla for the 49 Portraits Project after the tragedy at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando. The portraits from the exhibit were gifted to the family members. I was really honored to just be a part of that. Last year I created a custom corgi statue for a group of girls who lost their friend Anna to cancer. It is displayed in the garden of their elementary school emblazoned with all things that Anna loved and what her friends loved about her. Their trust in me meant the world. I hope I was able to bring some small sense of peace to them. Those are the ones that really matter.
Q: When you are working through problems in your work, who do you talk to? Do you have a mentor or coach?
A: I talk to my husband Paul who is an amazing artist with the most awesomely insane ideas. He builds a mean armature too. I feel so lucky to share art in this life with him. I also seek advice (and approval) from my daughter D35h0, she's the most creative and prolific artist I have ever met.
Q: What’s the best piece of advice you’ve been given?
A: Just do it. Don't second guess yourself or worry what anyone thinks.
Q: What advice do you have to give to other artists?
A: No one can stop you but you. To be an artist you just have to make art. That's it.
Q: Where can people see your art? Do you have any exhibitions coming up?
A: You can check out my latest sculptures The Guardians & Bulceratops in front of the Boonton Post Office through September 30 as part of the Dog Days of Summer exhibition. There are over 150 sculptures along Boonton's Main Street that are truly incredible along with many murals. Check it out! I did a mural Mars Madness at Sharky's West in Boonton just down the street. A shark on a space beach with a chicken rocket, burger planets and a lobster alien, that one was so much fun. My Steampup sculpture lives at Curly's Ice Cream, I love that he's still in the neighborhood!
Q: What do you want others to know about your art practice/artistic themes/stylistic choices/materials you use?
A: I have learned so much about different materials. I don't usually work in traditional ways or mediums. (I've made a life-sized large dog sculpture from paper mache & air dry clay, and google said it couldn't be done lol.) I try all sorts of things in my work. I particularly love when the art gods shine down upon you and bring you just the thing you need when you need it. That's the best. Just start the puzzle and it will solve itself.
Q: Where is your favorite place to find visual arts in Morris County?
A: Boonton is awesome. The town is art in itself. I love having been a part of the arts in Boonton over the past 12 years. There are great galleries in Boonton and throughout Morris County and amazing local artists.
Q: What was the weirdest/worst “survival” job you ever had?
A: Customer Service for the Jack LaLaine Power Juicer and Lateral Thigh Trainer 10 hours a day from a broom closet with 10 other people. Good times.
Q: What is the perfect food?
A: Chocolate. I don't know if that's really food, but I could live on it.
Q: As a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A: An artist.
Q: Are you an early bird or night owl?
A: NIGHT OWL
Q: What place would you like to visit?
A: Savannah, Georgia
Q: What is your most treasured possession?
A: I love the art we have collected. It is like a scrapbook of our life. I have a connection with each piece and the artist who created it. It is invaluable to me.
Q: What superpower would you have and why?
A: I would make people kind.