James Wille Faust

  • Visual Art

“For me, visiting dark sky destinations will continue to be a rewarding adventure and a lifelong journey, one that will always be part of my future travels. My respect for nature will continue to be a force in my work.”

James Wille Faust wanted to see the night sky as it was meant to be seen: devoid of light pollution and man- made skylines. With the help of the Creative Renewal Arts Fellowship, he could do just that. His first Dark Sky Destination was Sedona, Arizona, where he gazed up at the night sky until evening transformed into early morning. “It felt timeless to witness millions of stars, constellations, planets, meteors, satellites in orbit, the space station, and the Milky Way Galaxy, all visible with the naked eye.” Sedona in the daytime was equally stunning, with its cobalt blue sky contrasting the blazing red rock formations. He also attended star-gazing tours and events in Bell Rock and the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, and Flagstaff’s Lowell Observatory, one of the oldest in the country. For Faust, the expansive West was more than inspiring; it was art in itself. “My dark sky journey brought me back to the night skies I remembered as a child growing up in the 1950's on an Indiana farm, long before light pollution existed. At night, the stars magically shimmered with points of different colored radiating lights; like the brilliant starlit sky Van Gogh captured in his painting Starry Night.”

Faust’s journey granted him a much-needed perspective. When he returned to Indy, he realized his studio space was too small. “I needed more room for artistic expression, both painting and sculpture.” So, he began building a new studio on his home property in Indianapolis. He recently began a series of scratch-like black and white drawings in his digital sketchbook. These drawings were inspired by “the energy, movement, and magnitude of the deep space” he observed on his travels. The experience was both renewing and sobering. “Stepping away from the solitude of creating art in my studio, allowed me time to re-center within nature,” Faust said. “I am reminded that without conservation and preservation, the beauty of nature is tenuous, and rapidly disappearing.”

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