Dan Solloway: Home-Grown Icon
Many People Would Agree That We’re All Gifted In Some Way. The way we express those gifts is what separates the everyday from the iconic. Within the first hour of our interview with Daniel Solloway, Ph.D., it became apparent that he had gone through the line a few times
on gift-receiving day.
Following his successful showing as a featured artist in “Enigmatic Realms,” a recent exhibition in NYC’s Agora Gallery, we invited this contemporary artist and native Oklahoman to discuss life on the “iconic” side of the ledger.
Are you a native Oklahoman?
Yes. I grew up in Woodward.
What was your first job?
My family owned a pipe and steel business, so that was my first job. It’s also where I created my first sculptures.
I understand you have more than one job today. What is your second job?
I’m the host of Dan Solloway’s Health and Fitness Show Saturdays and Sundays at 10 a.m. on KOKC, AM 1520. I’ve been very involved in sports science, fitness and health since I was a teenager.
What’s the best part of your jobs?
I enjoy teaching and sharing knowledge with other people, but I also love the knowledge I glean in the process of interviewing people for my radio show. With my art, I love the element of surprise – the way the art evolves during the process, especially in the abstract pieces.
If you weren’t an artist and a radio show host, what do you think your profession would be?
I think I’d like to be an architect or a writer.
If you could spend a day with five people, who would they be?
Christ, da Vinci, Einstein, either Tesla or Edison and either Abraham Lincoln or Benjamin Franklin.
How do you define happiness?
Being peaceful; feeling positive about the direction things are headed and being excited about where they’re headed.
What’s your most treasured possession?
If you decided to change your name, what would it be?
My middle name is Samuel. I’ve often thought of going by Daniel Samuel. For a time, I used to sign my paintings with DS Solloway.
What has been your greatest achievement?
I hope it’s still to come! Hopefully, it will be something that has made a positive impact on people. I try to do that by balancing the various areas of my life. My art and my radio show create a balance of art and science, and I bring a philosophical side to both. I view art as solving problems aesthetically, and I take a holistic approach to looking at how to solve health issues.
Were you a philosophy major in college?
Yes – philosophy and art, but I started out as a psychology major.
Is it fair to say that your paintings are reflections of those influences?
Very much so.
It’s remarkable to see the evolution of your paintings over the decades, but light and movement seem to be consistent themes.
My early stuff really focused on luminosity. I wanted the light to break through. I’d say it was a metaphor for my own life at the time.
What’s the best decision you ever made?
To study art with Dord Fitz – the “father of the abstract expression movement.” He was a huge influence, not only on the art world in the Southwest, but also to me, personally, as a mentor.
When did you begin studying under Dord Fitz?
When I was in college. After a few years, he began selling several of my paintings, so several art dealers and investors were introduced to my work through Dord.
What do you most value in your friends?
Honesty. Humor. Kindness. Concern. And of course, adulation and admiration of me! [laughs]
What is your motto?
To be at peace, I must forgive.
What’s your greatest fear?
Dying and leaving behind any un-given gifts. I have a sense that time is limited and I still want to write a book (or books) or publish the poems I’ve written.
You’re also an inventor, correct?
Yes. I have invented and patented many things, most notably the Hydro-Tone (aquatic) exercise equipment.
It seems ironic to ask someone who oozes creative expression, but assuming there are any you don’t already have, what talent would you most like to have?
I’d love to be able to carry a tune! And I’d love to be able to write fluidly, without needing edits and re-edits.
What do you think is overrated?
Pursuit of status. I think it’s more worthwhile to find out what void needs to be filled – finding out who we really are.
What’s the strangest thing you’ve ever eaten?
What do you believe that most people don’t?
There is no death; this life is a school and we graduate by learning the lessons of forgiveness and love.
Solloway’s featured work from the “Enigmatic Realms” exhibition continues on display at Agora Gallery, NYC, agora-gallery.com/artistpage/Daniel_S._Solloway.aspx. Other current work can be seen locally at Kasum Contemporary Fine Art in the Paseo District, 1706 NW 16th Street, kasumcontemporary.com, or his own website at danscreations.net.