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Artist Steve Locke gets first major exhibition at Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston

Colette Greenstein | 7/25/2013, 6 a.m.
Steve Locke’s exhibit, there is no one left to blame, will be on display at the Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston from July 31 to Oct. 27. Admission is free 5-9 p.m. on Thursday nights. Liza Voll

I’m not really nervous about the show or the work. I want the work to be seen in the best possible light. That’s the great thing with having a great institution behind you. They have the resources. I feel like my vision is really solid. What I’m excited about is that it’s a museum show. Some artists never have a museum show.

Do most artists strive to have a museum exhibition?

I’m just as shocked that this is happening. I just knew I wanted to make art. I feel very fortunate that people want to see the work. In 2005 Kathleen Bitetti (a Boston curator) gave me a shot and believed in my work. I never expected it. I feel very fortunate. If I had planned it, it would have happened a lot earlier.

How do we go about exposing art to those who may not have access?

It’s not so much finding it outside of yourself. It’s about finding it inside of yourself. William Morris (who was an English textile designer, artist and writer in the 1800s) taught us that art is a part of our everyday lives. Even the way you arrange the food on your plate, how you arrange the plate — that can be a level of your artistic self. We can start looking at how art comes into our lives.

Is there a takeaway from the exhibit?

When I’m making my work, it’s very profound. The paintings have their own lives. It’s really not about me. I try not to get involved in that.

Has teaching at Mass Art influenced your work in any way? Spurred any creativity?

Absolutely! Young artists are the elixir of life. It’s really exciting working with them. You get to watch them and see their discoveries as they come into their own.

Steve Locke’s first solo museum exhibition, there is no one left to blame, featuring 12 new works — including a “constellation” of paintings, paintings affixed to sculptural supports and a neon work bearing the show’s title — is on view at The Institute of Contemporary Art/Boston from July 31 to Oct. 27. The ICA is located at 100 Northern Avenue in Boston. For more information, please visit www.icaboston.org.