It would be too simple to call Aaron Veldstra an artist. It gives one the impression that he merely paints a picture in some studio and goes home at the end of the day. I think it is better to say Aaron is art. He use to tell me that walking was his art, much like Hamish Fulton, his admitted influence, but there is so much more to Aaron than that.
Aaron studied art at the Dundas Valley School of Art, but, I often wonder if he was the one being studied. It became very evident that the confines of the studio would not do for him. His real studio was the Hamilton Escarpment and his supplies came from the long walk to and from school that he would do everyday (he still does not have his drivers license, and I don't think he ever will).
I have had the unique experience of living with Aaron more than once. Anyone who has will tell you about the unique items he brings home from his numerous walks. These pieces usually become part of the decor, and some have even survived multiple moves, and are now loved pieces of art amongst friends. Almost better are his various stories of adventures along the way, the dildo story still leaves me bent over laughing. It is only recently that he has been able to share what he sees from his many walks via the recent addition of a digital camera to his equipment.
Aaron and his art are engaging. He has a way of attracting art and none-art type people a like. I have been eye witness to the effect of his art while I worked with him in a Southern Ontario scrap yard. Gritty, working class (some might call white trash) type folk were drawn to Aaron and his works at the yard. It was a rather magical thing to witness. A day with Aaron is not an easy day to forget.
by: David Repa
"the magic of the creative is on the road
not hiding in galleries, or locked in large metal boxes
thats just product
and who needs more-- really?"
--excerpt from gallery walking
Aaron Veldstra and Lurcho may be reached through e-mail: betterthanbutter at gmail.com