Alumni Profile: Keith Damron

posted on September 2, 2017 by
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We're so happy to introduce our next interview with YACalum Keith Damron! Keith is not only a super talented artist but also a fantastic musician - he sings and plays guitar in the rock band El Camino Sutra. You can also thank Keith for the fabulous musical line-up at LiveArt every year - as he's the one who books bands for us! Catch El Camino Sutra live at East Village Cafe on Friday, September 8th - where they'll be releasing their newest EP, "Blood and Guts," and find more of El Camino Sutra on Bandcamp here, Facebook here, and on Instagram @elcaminosutra.

Year/years at YAC?

I have a pretty rough memory, but I know I was at the old YAC for a few months and then rejoined after the move to the current space where I stayed active until around 2011.

Did you go to college and if so where?

I went to MPC where I took a bunch of art classes. I still take some from time to time. I'm going to be going back to school to finish up hopefully this coming fall semester.

Did you learn elsewhere? Where and How?

I was an intern with the art curator at CHOMP for around four years. I got the internship after hearing about it from Meg and Marcia and being encouraged to call and apply. I feel super lucky to have been able to actively look at art on a 9 - 5 schedule for that long. I learned a lot about what I like and do not like in art. It was great to learn how to install art to museum standards. I miss seeing that magic happen. I'm always trying to learn and pick things up in my day to day life. I've come to understand that pursuing knowledge about something, whether on an academic level or not, keeps me happy and healthy.

keith damron el camino sutra Tell us about what you’re doing now.

My main focus these days is my music. Right now I play in a band called El Camino Sutra where I play guitar and sing. Playing in this band has been a real collaborative process, which I enjoy. There's four of us and we all get to work on the songs together. It's great to take a song idea in to them and watch it turn into something better than I could have made on my own. We are releasing a new EP on September 8th at East Village playing with a band called Tomten.

el camino sutra blood and guts What has inspired you along the way?

I've always thought that one of the coolest parts of YAC was the shared space to create. It's really, really hard for me to create in isolation. I think that's why I have found so much fulfillment with playing music with others. Searching for creative shared spaces like what I knew at YAC has been a huge inspiration in many ways.

Favorite YAC memories?

Always being one of the first to fall asleep at Art-a-Thons. First sale. Marcia hugs. Meg pep talks. Feeling loved by and cared for by a huge group of peers.

And a mention about the value of YAC?

YAC is, without a doubt, a life saver. I needed it badly when I was young and I'm terrified to think of who I would have been without it. Probably would be up to no good! At YAC I learned to value myself and my art. I'm extremely grateful to have had everyone there in my life.

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