James Weinberg Assembly mural

James Weinberg, September Artist of the Month

Artist of the Month

Whether it is a mural under a bridge, or a book jacket, a band poster, an invitation, it is easy to recognize James Weinberg's distinct character. A designer, illustrator and artist, Weinberg unites the tenacious and bold with whimsy, pulling an audience towards the work and then enchanting that audience to stay with it. 
Can you give a brief overview of what you do?
I work in silkscreen printing on paper and have a studio at Miller Street in Somerville. My work tends to be graphic and illustrative and use a lot of typography and textures.
Are there some past projects you’d like to mention in more detail?  
I designed a mural commissioned for Assembly Row that is 300 feet wide below the Lombardi Bridge. Working at that scale was new for me and I like the idea of having art be part of the Somerville landscape. 
What projects are you most excited about that are on the horizon?
Art Crank is a bike themed printmaking show is coming to Somerville in October I am excited to participate in that. I hope to self-publish a book that is all silkscreen. 
A profession in the arts can be difficult. Can you talk about some of the challenges?
I am fortunate that my work translates well to illustration and design, while that has its challenges it is a billable form of art. I print for other artists and designers too which helps keep the lights on.
Why do you do what you do? What’s something you get out of it?    
I get so much inspiration from my environment and the printmaking process. I often make test-prints making layers on layers randomly and I find interesting effects, compositions and color combinations. Wait that did not even answer your question, I am not sure why, I suppose it's just a calling like anything else. 
Any thoughts on the local Somerville or Boston-area creative scene?
I tend to be doing my own thing so I can not say I am an authority on the local art scene. What interactions I have with local artists and creatives has been great. There are often grumblings of Boston being a tough town for artists. Because rents are high there seems to be a push for collective work spaces. Places like Fringe Union have shown that there are some new models for artist and designers working for themselves. There is a DIY spirit to being an artist around here and you have to hustle.  
Can you name off some of the people/places/things in this world that you find amazing and want us to know about?
I love biking out to Concord and Lincoln, the Gropius House is a must see in Lincoln. The Peabody Essex Museum and the Natural History Museum at Harvard are places I go for inspiration. Somerville has a ton of hardworking and stellar artists who are all superstars.