Here is the Afterword to our book, Style, Elegance and Wit: Rediscovering the Life and Art of James Spencer Russell, recently penned by Satch:
In the last hours of a day-long auction in Indianapolis, there I stood, in the middle of a room full of incredible art. I had no idea why the art was at the auction house, no idea who James Spencer Russell was and no idea where Kewanna, Indiana was. In 2006, this was my introduction to the art created by a person whose life I would eventually spend nearly three years researching.
The art was powerful and varied, intricate and profound. It was of a quality that immediately caught and held my attention. It spoke to me, loudly. I had just exited the corporate world of banking, but felt that I must collect a portion of this artist’s work.
A small group of us that had collected Russell’s work would meet and discuss it. Still we knew little of the artist. We knew that this work was important, the work of someone that was exceptional. Eventually, a retrospective exhibition at the Indiana State Museum was organized. Along the way, my husband, Ron, and I embarked on a journey of discovery and inspiration while researching and writing this book.
James Spencer Russell’s life and art will always inspire me. He lived his life for what was important, not what was convenient nor what was expected of him. Russell chased his dream of being an artist. Living with Russell’s art has taught me to remain ever committed to my dream. I hope that James Spencer Russell’s life story and art inspires you too.