My work is fundamentally influenced by the theories and practices of Minimalism and Conceptualism that dominated the art world while I was an art student in the 1970’s. I was awarded a Fulbright-Hayes scholarship to the United Kingdom between college and graduate school to serve as apprentice to the sole millwright for the government’s Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings, through which I learned the ancient techniques and craftsmanship of watermill and windmill construction and preservation. As a result of these influences and experiences, my aesthetic is rooted in craftsmanship while being informed by the sublime nature of minimal forms and the layering of history and ideas.
I continue to practice the craft of wood-working and joinery and am especially drawn to the interactions of wind, water, sunlight, and gravity on natural materials. My work is defined by tension at the point of contact, or joint, and the act of creating this tension among seemingly disparate materials. By joining irregular, organic materials such as wood limbs and granite shards to machine-tooled geometric shapes of steel, I create sculpture with actual or implied kinetic relationships among the elements and materials, and between the sculpture and its environment. Oak and granite nesting in congruent harmony, stainless steel orbs spinning within walnut ellipses, granite shards twisting against armatures of steel—these elements are held together through my commitment to materials, history and craftsmanship.
Public Art Experience
I have a long and diverse history of involvement with public art. From 1995-2000, I was the Executive Director of Pier Walk, the largest outdoor sculpture exhibition in the world and held annually on Chicago’s lakefront. As a consultant, I have served on selection committees such as the State of Illinois Art in Architecture Program and Sarasota Season of Sculpture. As an installation manager, I have been entrusted with the work of internationally known artists such as David Nash and Leonardo Nierman and with large installations of public art such as Chicago’s “Cows on Parade”. And as an artist, I have created numerous outdoor sculptures for public art spaces including sculpture parks and university campuses. As my work is so informed by old world techniques of construction, my pieces are made to withstand as well as to interact with the elements. In short, I understand the issues particular to the creation, selection, installation, and maintenance of public art.