American Art Collector - - Contents - STU­DIO Gallery 1641 Pa­cific Av­enue • San Francisco, CA 94109 (415) 931-3130 • www.stu­dio­

Stronger To­gether

Hus­band-wife duo Nate Ross and Lind­sey Kustusch have a re­lent­less sup­port for one an­other—and as fel­low artists, they un­der­stand each other’s pas­sions and pit­falls like not many oth­ers can. Kustusch is an es­tab­lished fig­ure in the art world, while Ross is an an­i­ma­tor, work­ing on vis­ual ef­fects in films like The Last Jedi. How­ever, in the last four years, with the men­tor­ship and ex­per­tise of his wife, Ross has honed his skills as a painter, ex­plor­ing his pas­sion for fine art in his off time. Sim­ply put, Ross and Kustusch live and breathe art.

From Au­gust 30 to Septem­ber 17, the artists will ex­hibit new works at STU­DIO Gallery in San Francisco, the first show to fea­ture just the two of them alone.

A na­tive of the Bay Area, Ross stud­ied an­i­ma­tion at the Academy of Art Univer­sity and cur­rently works for Tip­pett Stu­dio, a prom­i­nent an­i­ma­tion and me­dia pro­duc­tion company. Fine art and painting, how­ever, have al­ways been highly re­garded by Ross, and it was in a painting class in col­lege that he and Kustusch first met.

“She’s the best painter I’ve ever seen,” says Ross. “Aside from her be­ing my wife, there is a real in­tense re­spect be­tween us from artist to artist.” Of­ten, Kustusch acts as a men­tor for Ross in terms of de­vel­op­ing his tech­nique, so Ross says there is a cer­tain ex­cite­ment in hav­ing a stu­dent­teacher dy­namic to the show as well. And the re­la­tion­ship is sym­bi­otic: they mo­ti­vate each other to con­tinue painting even when it feels tough or when they don’t feel like they’re in a place to cre­ate, Ross ex­plains. “Through­out my painting

ca­reer, I’ve al­ways had him as a sec­ond pair of eyes,” says Kustusch.

While both Ross and Kustusch paint cityscapes, they have fun­da­men­tally dif­fer­ent aes­thet­ics. Kustusch looks at scenes from a larger view­point, cre­at­ing beau­ti­ful sweep­ing land­scapes fo­cus­ing on vast struc­tures, and Ross takes a more in­ti­mate ap­proach, look­ing closely at the smaller things like lit­tle side streets and al­ley­ways. “I try to hone in on those scenes that are the sort of calm within the chaos,” says Ross. With their pow­ers com­bined, they can tell a more com­plete story, Kustusch ex­plains.

“[San Francisco is] a beau­ti­ful city with so many dif­fer­ent per­son­al­i­ties and so many dif­fer­ent re­al­i­ties for peo­ple,” ex­plains Kustusch. In past ex­hi­bi­tions, the artist says she’s fo­cused on spe­cific themes in cityscapes, but with this show, she is at­tempt­ing to tell a more holis­tic story. This body of work cap­tures “all of the dif­fer­ent sea­sons, the times of day, a lit­tle bit of foggy night, a lit­tle bit of sun bleached hills rolling through the city, a lit­tle bit of Chi­na­town.”

“Af­ter try­ing a bunch of dif­fer­ent things in life... cre­at­ing is when I am the hap­pi­est,” says Kustusch. She adds that even dur­ing the high stress, the pres­sure and the hard­ships, all of it is mean­ing­ful.

An open­ing re­cep­tion will be held at the gallery on Septem­ber 9 from 4 to 6 p.m.

1Nate Ross, The Beauty of Old In­dus­try, oil on board, 14 x 11"2Lind­sey Kustusch, Stock­ton & Post, oil on panel, 22 x 18"3Nate Ross, The Relics, oil on board, 10 x 25"4Lind­sey Kustusch, Wash­ing­ton & Taylor, oil on panel, 20 x 20"

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