The Outsider Art Gallery opened in Frenchtown New Jersey earlier this month. It is owned by local artist Dion Hitchings. The gallery carries Hitchings’ work and the work of other outsider artists from North Carolina, Hannibal Missouri and the Mountains of Kentucky. What follows is a micro-interview and an artist’s statement from Hitchings.
BNJ: What brought you to Frenchtown?
Hitchings: Many things:
Its hunterdon county
It’s 5 minutes from my home
The walking traffic
Frenchtown is not only a great looking town but has a funky art flair u can’t find anywhere else
And foremost this area is the best place to live in
BNJ: What makes your gallery unique in the region?
Hitchings: The artists and my work ya can’t find most places usual people r 🙂
A statement from Dion Hitchings:
My art is primitive narrative, childlike, colorful, self-revealing, erotic, funny, strange and lots of eyes. My inspirations come from many places: people I see and work with, dreams, plants at the nursery, news items, guests on the Jerry Springer show and nature.
was born in saint louis, missouri on december 22, 1958 (almost a xmas baby).
my mother found out she was pregnant with me, two weeks after my father’s funeral.
took up drawing at age 3 and never put down the crayons.
I have never considered myself to fit in the “normal” world,
so I looked to leave the midwest as soon as possible.
i went to washington university in saint louis/school of fine arts,
where I graduated with a bachelor of fine arts.
luckily, i landed one of the only art related jobs in saint louis,
hired as a fashion illustrator at jeans west,
which i did for the next 3 years.
i also developed my skills into being an art director.
I also met the person
who would be my significant other for the next 23 years.
next i moved to chicago,
after being hired at evans furs as an art director.
never stopped drawing,
but i felt the best way to make a living was the commercial route.
my next job was for marshall fields department store,
which i stayed at for the next three years.
my next move was new york city,
where i was hired as art director at bloomingdales.
i was in fashion heaven working with some of the
best photographers, stylists and models in the world.
from there i freelanced art directing and illustration,
worked for conde naste, avon, saks fifth avenue and aerosoles.
tired of living in the city i moved to rural new jersey in hunterdon county.
where I finally purchased my first house.
but things changed, within a 4 year period,
i lost my significant other to a car accident,
lived through 9/11 and was laid off my last job.
my priorities changed and what is important shifted.
you only live once.
so i put the pieces back together
outsider art gallery
10 bridge street
hours: wed & thu, 6pm – 9pm; fri, sat & sun, 11am – 7pm; or by appointment.
for further information: go to: www.dionhitchings.com.
come see great outsider art and just hang out.