Q&A: Night Skies With David Niec

We talked to the artist ahead of his show at the Portrait Society Gallery.


THIS STORY IS PART OF MILWAUKEE MAGAZINE‘S FALL ARTS GUIDE. CLICK HERE TO READ MORE, OR FIND THE FULL PACKAGE IN THE SEPTEMBER ISSUE.


WHEN DAVID NIEC PAINTS, it’s outside, flashlight in hand and after dark. He calls winter “the season of the night” and relishes snowstorms that make the moonlight shimmer. His upcoming show, “To Know the Dark: David Niec” at Portrait Society Gallery, features drawings and paintings from the shores of Lake Michigan – works he created while camping out under the stars to catch different moon cycles.

What can people expect at your upcoming show?  

There’s this experience with the moon and the water. If someone sees that, it brings about an awareness of it. And then maybe that would then cause them to notice it in their own experience. For me, that’s just an incredible thing to enrich your experience of life.


 

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What feeling do you hope people come away with?  

What I would really want is what happens when things are right when I’m [painting]. Work is work, you know? Sometimes you just show up. And then sometimes you’re flat out mesmerized!  

What tips do you have for fully experiencing night skies?

Sometimes it’s just noticing. If I don’t have as much time, I go out, get a look at it and do some drawing for a half hour to an hour – sometimes just five minutes. … But it’s just seeing it and taking a little time and attention.


“To Know the Dark: David Niec” runs Sept. 16-Oct. 29 at Portrait Society Gallery, 207 E. Buffalo St.


 

This story is part of Milwaukee Magazine‘s September issue.

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Allison Garcia is the Digital Editor for Milwaukee Magazine.