Feature Story: This Normal Life
On Friday, Feb. 20, at 7 p.m., Stay Gallery exhibited Steven Clouse’s photographic journey through the United States. He quit his medical career in Texas to travel and explore the United States and then chose to embark on a road trip in the summer of 2012. What started off as a three-month trip expanded into a three-year journey.
The gallery was filled with diverse people mingling and talking about the art on the walls. There was a pop-up shop by Snake Oil Provisions, who also sponsored the show, and had a few of their products and clothing on display and available for purchase. The people who came to show their interest in Steven’s work came from multiple cities.
Artist Steven Clouse tells why he gave up his career in the medical field to embark on his journey across the United States.
“I spent my entire 20s devoted to my career and never really left my own back yard,” Clouse said. “One morning I woke up and was 30 years old and had done nothing with my life but work. That didn't sit well with me, so I decided to do something about it.”
Gabriel Enamorado, Creative Director of Stay gallery, met Clouse one day while visiting Snake Oil Provisions in Long Beach, and he explains why he chose his photographs to be exhibited at the gallery.
“It typically takes a lot for someone’s work to capture my attention enough to want to offer a solo exhibit on the spot,” Enamorado said. “but his story and his work resonated with me in a way that I cannot explain. It was inspiring. It’s impossible to not want his story to be heard.”
Ben Neuhaus, owner of Snake Oil Provisions, shares how he also met Clouse and why he chose to do a pop-up shop at his exhibit.
“I first met Steven in person in winter of 2014, right after my store launched. We met for dinner that is really how we became close friends and had the opportunity to discuss collaborating,” Neuhaus said. “Since Steven is also a customer and wears the exact brands we stock at Snake Oil Provisions, we talked about how cool it would be to incorporate that element into his show.”
At opening night, the Snake Oil Provisions pop-up shop included Clouse’s own used and abused boots and jeans that he wore for 2 years on the road taking all the photos in his exhibit, and new versions were available to purchase as well. Red Wing Heritage and Rogue Territory also helped sponsor the show.
Clouse plans on showing his artwork more and continuing to travel in the United States and then embarking on his journey abroad. This Normal Life will be exhibited at Stay gallery until Mar. 14, 2015.
Sabrina Picou is a Junior at Downey High School. She is currently a writer for the school's newspaper, The Downey Legend and for Stay Gallery's Journal. Photographs by Karen Ariciaga.
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CAPTIONS: On Feb.20, Stay Gallery displays photographs of Steven Clouse’s adventures while traveling for the public to see. “What started as a two month trip is now going on three years,” Clouse said.