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Local Artist Display: An Interview with Ted Kwalk


The lobby display of our Main Branch is currently fortunate enough to feature the vivid artwork of local artist Ted Kwalk. Utilizing watercolor and acrylic paint, Ted’s artwork features rich depictions of the natural world. Ted was kind enough to answer a few of our questions about his art, what inspires it, and the connection between art and science.


FTPL: How long have you lived in the Somerset area?

TK: I’ve been a resident of the Somerset area (Renaissance community) for 8 years. Prior to that, I lived in Montgomery Township for more than 15 years. I’ve also lived in New York City and Rochester in my twenties and thirties.
(I was born in Seoul, Korea and came to New York for my graduate studies where I attained a MS and Ph.D in Polymer Science and Engineering from the Polytechnic Institute of New York, now the NYU School of Engineering.)

FTPL: How long have you been painting? When did you notice that you had artistic talent?

TK: Only after I retired from work, in 2015. Throughout my elementary school years I was told by my teacher that I have a talent in drawing. In fact, drawing class was one of my favorites.


FTPL: What attracted you to using watercolors and acrylic paint?

TK: I started watercolors because I had experience with them back in middle school art class (a long time ago!) Acrylic painting is very new to me and it gives me more freedom in terms of expressing my ideas.

FTPL: What inspires your work?

TK: I am strongly drawn to many scenes in nature – I use those as inspiration. Usually I take a photo first – and then, I draw in my feelings to help my paintbrush movements.


FTPL: Who are your biggest influences?

TK: My favorite painter is Van Gogh, one of the best impressionists. I love every one of his art pieces. I aim to imitate not his style, but his passion for art.

FTPL: What’s the most important piece of art to you?

TK: I would say all the pieces are important to me but there are a few of them I like the most. “Sunset at the Ha Long Bay” is one of those.


FTPL: What is your next project?

TK: I will attempt ‘abstract acrylics’ which demands more artistic skill and ideas.

FTPL: As a former scientist, do you think that art can be inspired by science? Can science be influenced by art?

TK: I consider the universe to be God’s canvas – the stars in the sky, the moon, rivers, trees, are all examples of God’s live artwork. And God’s art manifests itself through science. Science, especially natural science, conforms itself into art. For example, every piece of snowflake shows hundreds of different beautiful hexagonal shapes and patterns. Even various polymeric materials form beautiful crystal shapes such as orthorhombic, tetragonal, hexagonal, and so on. These naturally occurring materials are fundamentally very geometric. Geometry is a very important composition of drawing. The Last Supper by Leonardo da Vinci is based on perfect geometry. He was an artist, mathematician, scientist, musician, and astronomer. Art and science are keenly interrelated and related to one another.


The library is always looking for artists, crafters, and collectors to feature on our art wall and in our display cases. For more information, please email with a little about yourself and a link to your website or social media accounts. You can also attach samples of your work. Preference is given to residents of Franklin Township.


Thanks for reading!

George, FTPL

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