CHI Volunteer Spotlight: Joe Pruitt
This fall Joe Pruitt has been helping out in our Chicago Studio every Friday. He helps members of our studio with artmaking, cleaning tasks, end of day transportation, and even sat in on a recent band practice. In order to prioritize work and school next year, he will be stepping back from his regular volunteer schedule. In appreciation of his contributions to our community, we asked Joe for some inside information on his interests, hobbies, and time at the studio. His answers are listed below.
Q: How did you get involved with The Arts of Life?
A: “I've been aware of The Arts of Life for a long time and actually have a friend at the North Shore studio. This summer I was looking to get mixed up in something new to help get me out of my shell a little bit and sort of normalize myself as I prepare to go back to school.”
Q: What is your background in?
A: “My degree is in jazz performance from Columbia College as a guitarist, but I've recently taken up the double bass and I guess I'm a bass player now. My main interest is songwriting. I write them all the time. I've recorded maybe ten albums.”
Q: How long have you been involved with The Arts of Life?
A: “Not long enough really. I started back in September.”
Q: What are some of your favorite aspects of volunteering at The Arts of Life?
A: “Since I am a musician rather than a visual artist, I just go in and try to learn from the artists since so many of them have been at it for so long. For instance, Lee is a guy who's pencil never stops moving. As soon as one piece is finished he starts on the next. I want that work ethic. And watching Tim go deeper and deeper into his drawings has reminded me that the process is everything.”
Q: Have you formed close connections with some of the artists? Can you tell me a little bit about these relationships?
A: “I hope this doesn't get me in trouble, but as we all know, Kris loves spicy food and it just so happens I had a line on some hot peppers. In particular, the Carolina Reaper, hottest pepper on the planet. Well, I brought it in and the rest is history. Didn't even phase him. I'm still shocked.”
Q: What do you like to do outside of volunteering?
A: “I've got it pretty good. I just hang out with my wife and son, mess around with some music. Fantasy football is a real problem for me.”
Q: Do you have any websites promoting your work that you can share with our readers?
Thank you Joe for your time with us! Your steady, fun presence will be missed!