Artist Lexi Logan would make Sheryl Sandberg proud: Logan leans in to her life with confidence. What may baffle the Facebook COO-cum-self-help author would be that there is nary a corporation in sight of the Buckingham farm where Logan works and lives.
Logan has not chosen to use her talents to rise to the top tiers of a firm, or to increase a stock price. She is, instead, leaning in to nourish the soul with art while nourishing her three children. All on a Bucks County farm that once grew food to nourish the body.
Logan, her husband, artist Andrew Logan, and their three young children live on what was once Stover’s Farm Market. The barns, silos and outbuildings that once housed livestock and farm machinery now harbor artists’ studios, where members of the Bucks County Art Barn paint, photograph, weld, sculpt, carve, design and more.
The New York University grad has adapted her art career to suit her life raising a daughter, age 7, and two sons, ages 10 and 5. She put herself on the “mommy track” of the art world, and perhaps unlike that of the corporate world, it works well for her.
“Being a mother and being an artist has been such a beautiful challenge,” Logan says. “Balancing being a mother and what it takes, that level of care” causes her to sometimes feel guilty while she’s in the studio. Yet she also has the pressure of helping to provide for her family. “It’s an expensive world with three children.”
Logan has had more than 10 years to perfect the struggle of “making a living versus making what you want,” which doesn’t only exist for parents. There was a time when her work was darker, “creepier.” Although people liked it, they perhaps didn’t want to live with it. Not simply motherhood, but also maturity helped her “rein it in.”The imagery in her vintage-inspired pieces began even before she had children. The figures evoke reading primers of decades past. This is not the Dick and Jane of oldsters’ childhood, but Dick and Jane with a secret.
Beyond the pinafores and Mary Janes, there is something slightly unsettling about an oversized little girl about to burn her finger on the Statue of Liberty’s torch. There is social commentary in a piece titled Arm Candy. The little boy passionately embraces a dog, while the girl aloofly walks by, holding a book under her arm.
Logan admits, “There’s a sadness to it. I’m not trying to make my work cute. I’m digging underneath this perfect shell, this symbol of perfection.”
It’s an excavation of nostalgia and all that it entails. Logan paints her images on worn wooden sleds and tagged wood pieces from George Nakashima‘s collection.
“It adds another layer to my pieces,” she says.She scours flea markets and yard sales. “Old postcards, from 1932 or so, all tell a story and I continue the story with my little drawings.”
She enjoys reviving old pieces, bringing them to life and sending them out into the world on their own journey.
Logan paints on the postcards, even co-opts some of the imagery for other pieces, aligning the stars of a collective reminiscence to a time before age 7, before the age of self-consciousness. This magical time is “when we feel larger than life, bigger than the world, heading for adventure.”
“We’ve all had these memories,” she says. “It connects us all.”
— Jodi Thompson