The Small Engine Roars
Rogue road trip inspires 100-painting retrospective
By Chiquita Paschal
Hussack hails from the keystone state, an Amish paradise called Lancaster, Penn. After spending five years gaining a formal art education in his hometown, he set off in his car for the Great American West. “Just driving out here I was blown away by the space,” Hussack says. “You can't even really comprehend it almost. You could pull the car over and get out and walk ... and maybe you would die?”
Inspired by the sublime landscape and the quirky people, Hussack did get out of his car, and stayed for a few years. He once found his way back to Lancaster in a fit of loyalty, only to pack his hooptie once more, bound for this hub of inspiration. “I wanted to come back,” he says. “I couldn’t stop thinking about it here. I had to come back. I road-tripped here twice and stuck around.”
“You can't even really comprehend it almost. You could pull the car over and get out and walk ... and maybe you would die?”
Hussack says he figured out he’s an “artist for life” about five years ago. And it's a good thing he did. In the course of those five years, he befriended local artists Scott Williams, Raven Chacon, Mat Galindo and Melinda Thursz, with whom Hussack formed Small Engine Gallery. The artist collective rents the space next to The Normal Gallery on south Fourth Street, in Barelas.
Excited to piece together his journey, Hussack began a painting frenzy—even though he lacked resources like money and materials. He collected and prepared found wood to make his canvases, and he limited his palette to all the free paint he could score. And sure, he got a few day jobs—including being a caregiver and flipping burgers—to support his artistry. “I think you can sell a painting for a dollar and be a professional artist,” he says. In that vein, Hussack says he hopes to continue to provide platforms for local artists to showcase work at his and other galleries.
New Mexico in Five Hundred Years in a Hundred Pieces
Runs through May 31, by appointment only
Small Engine Gallery
1413 Fourth Street SW
Call Lucas Hussack: (717) 360-5078
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