ISC/GFS Resident Tyler Gaston | Getting Acclimated

Week one at the ISC residency at Grounds for Sculpture has been magical and immersive. Inside the sculpture park I’ve been admiring the works of Bernar Venet and Emilie Benes Brzezinski, among many others.  The Grounds are host to a vast variety of beautiful trees, botanicals and plant life which has been particularly enjoyable during the late evening hours when the weather cools off.  Peacocks wander the Grounds and are a pleasant surprise to patrons as they stumble upon a new area of the park.

Image: Lintel, Emilie Benes Brzezinski

I spent quite a bit of time this week unpacking and organizing my work space, as well as acquiring additional materials and tools.  The residency studio space is huge.  In the adjacent hallways you will find a number of other working artists; it is an exciting networking opportunity.  Sculpture is a diverse field of study and the amount of knowledge that can be gained from others regarding materials and process is invaluable.

I am excited to share this residency experience with my counterpart, Shohei Katayama.  His art practice is quite different than mine and I am already inspired by his knowledge.  I often avoid the use of technology in my own practice, primarily because it seems intimidating and difficult to learn.  I have always enjoyed the challenge of transforming a 2-dimensional pencil sketch into a laborious 3-dimensional object, solely relying upon the mind and the hands.  Although this method of creation brings me fulfillment, the utilization of 3D design programs has proven to increase efficiency and productivity.  Shohei is able to quickly bring an idea to life through the use of 3D computer design software programs and 3D printers.  Once a model is produced the design can be altered or shifted in scale almost immediately on the computer.  He has created sculptures that move kinetically as the viewer approaches, or works that change color on the surface from exposure to body heat and sunlight.  I am fascinated by the diversity and complexity of his work, and the scientific processes employed within their fabrication.

Image: Tiny Man, 3D Printed model

We took a tour of the Seward Johnson Atelier facility, which housed enormous sculptures and the respective equipment to realize complex figurative casting projects.  It gave me a totally new appreciation for the casting industry and it was enlightening to see the workflow of how large scale cast figures are made.  As part of the residency we have access to some of the processes and equipment at the Atelier facility. 

To conclude the week Shohei and I gave artist presentations to ISC and GFS staff so they could become better acquainted with our art practices.  Outside of the scheduled events, I have been spending time sketching project ideas and wandering through the sculpture park.  In preparation for our upcoming studio visits with GFS staff I have made a series of life scale models in cardboard.  These models will become valuable templates in creating new sculptures in wood, steel and concrete.

Studio image, Life scale cardboard models

I am really eager and excited for the coming weeks and look forward to making new work in the studio.  For more information on my art practice or to view images of my work, please visit www.tyler-gaston.com 

By Tyler Gaston

ISC/GFS Resident Shohei Katayama | Sculpture: A Nexus Between Nature and Humankind

There is an inherent beauty in nature that induces a sense of awe and magic. It leaves us speechless and surrounds us with the presence of something vast that transcends our understanding of the world and generates ephemeral, fleeting sensations that are difficult to describe in words. In facing nature, we experience a diminishing emphasis on the individual self, a connectedness, a sense of encouragement to improve the welfare of others, and a deep appreciation for the complexity of life and one’s existence. Shifting our lens toward larger entities and simultaneously surrendering the ego can trigger altruism, compassion, and magnanimous behavior. Perhaps beauty serves a vital social function.

On Poppied Hill, Seward Johnson

The same sense of beauty and awe can be found in art. While there are experiences that can only be described as “once in a lifetime,” such as going on an expedition to the Arctic Circle or the Amazon rainforest, an expression manifested by an artist can be equally interesting and inspiring — fulfilling the common phrase, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” The 42 acres of curated and manicured landscaping, and masterfully rendered sculptures at Grounds for Sculpture (GFS) certainly evokes a visceral sensation beyond the mundane. There is a sense of harmony and wonder. 

God Bless America, Seward Johnson

When I arrived for the International Sculpture Center (ISC) Residency at GFS, I attempted to navigate the park without a map.  While it was difficult to decipher the way back, getting lost was an enjoyable experience. There were moments where I was pleasantly surprised by hidden gems — the gems, of course, are Seward Johnson’s painted sculptures. They effuse a life-like presence that often times require a double take, both near and far. They look oddly familiar, on the account that they are based on famous impressionist paintings, but immersive due to their sculptural nature. It made me wonder how often the landscape had to be pruned to stay true to the artist’s vision, and the commitment required by the botanists and field workers. I admired the dedication and walked back feeling humbled. 

Right: Ru-yi Life, Kang Muxiang   
Left: Schatz’s Spaceship (Inspired by The Oloid), E. Calder Powel

Today marks the 4th day out of the 36. Alongside with my new Pittsburgh friend and fellow resident artist, Tyler Gaston, we presented our works to the ISC and GFS community. While I am getting antsy to start making, I want a clear idea of what I want to convey or create. So instead of diving right into the studio (located at the Motor’s Exhibits Building), I decided to engage with the part of the community closest to the sculptures in the park — the grounds staff. I had an opportunity to share a dialogue with the horticulturist, Janice Napoli, which led me to deepen my interest in the park’s garden cultivation and management. I made a verbal commitment to aid her and the crew with the trimming this upcoming week, in hope that in exchange, they will share their wisdom, knowledge, and life stories. As someone who always appreciated the art of “guiding nature,” I am looking forward to facilitating the harmonious environment worthy of human affection. 

Motor Exhibits Building Studio: Tyler Gaston & his cardboard models

By Shohei Katayama

INTERNATIONAL SCULPTURE DAY: “AURORA BRIGHT DAWN” CONNECTING COMMUNITY TO PLACE

International Sculpture Day (IS Day), on April 27th, is a worldwide event celebrating the many ways sculpture and public art impact and improve people’s lives. IS Day, first initiated by the International Sculpture Center (ISC) in 2015, occurs on the last Saturday of April. On this day, Artists and groups interested in the Arts, host events including workshops, studio tours, gallery openings, performances, project dedications, and more, celebrating how sculpture, in its many forms, improves lives.

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Marisol San Jorge-Dibujos, Objetos e Instalaciones

“Mudar” Objetos Metal, madera, espejos, botella, termómetro, labial 45 x 35 x 30 cm aprox. c/u. Año 2010

Dibujos, objetos e instalaciones; ése es el universo de la cordobesa Marisol San Jorge  formada en Dibujo Publicitario en la Escuela Provincial Lino Enea Spilimbergo y Arte en la Escuela Provincial Dr. José Figueroa Alcorta. Marisol logra hacer convivir en su obra el plano de lo racional con la espiritualidad, volcando sus conocimientos trabajos que van desde las ilustraciones hasta las instalaciones con objetos ready madeContinue reading

Lavender Mist

sculpture

Rebecca Louise Law: Community. Image courtesy of the Toledo Museum of Art.

Rebecca Louise Law’s immersive, site-specific floral installations have graced venues ranging from the British Royal Academy, the Victoria and Albert Museum, the Kew Royal Botanical Gardens, and Times Square, where she thoroughly transforms spaces with canopies and garlands comprising flowers by the hundred-thousand.  Community, on view at the Toledo Art Museum, applies half a million floral elements that create a tangible lavender mist into which viewers can immerse themselves and disappear.  It looks (and smells) absolutely transcendent, but Law’s floral works– tranquil, serene, and undeniably beautiful—also manage to gently touch on the themes of community-building and environmental sustainability. Continue reading

Noemí Schneck – Variaciones Textiles

sculpture

ENTREVERADOS, de la serie Germinal 2013 – Técnica mixta. 60 x 16 x 5 cm (medidas variables, según sea obra de apoyo, o mural horizontal o vertical) Mdf, alambre forrado con hilo de algodón, anudado

Dedicada desde 1977 a las artes visuales –y con estudios previos como profesora nacional de inglés- Noemí Schneck se formó en los talleres de Tana Sachs, Cristina Dartiguelongue y Luis Negrotti, donde experimentó con distintos materiales como los metales, fibras, papel, telas endurecidas, fibras plásticas y diversos materiales industriales aplicados a la pintura, la escultura y las instalaciones pero fundamentalmente al arte textil. Continue reading

In the Studio with Francis Cape : Fragments

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The Other End of the Line, 2010 interior with work by DeWitt Godfrey, Gina Occhiogrosso, Margo Mensing, Richard Garrison, Matt Harle photo Paul Kennedy

Francis Cape’s straightforward-appearing art communicates a world view that is complex and sophisticated. As the son of a British diplomat, Cape was born in Portugal and grew up in major cities all over the world. This, and his apprenticeship to a wood carver in York, England from 1974-79 are early markers that led to his life with artist/wife Liza Phillips.  Their innovative yet traditional art practices enliven the light-filled rooms of their renovated home and studios in Narrowsburg, New York, a low-income Republican area of Sullivan County that was recently devastated by a derecho, a kind of horizontal tornado. Cape told me that thirty trees were down on his land, and I could see he was already in the process of turning some fallen trees into firewood and hauling others away. In Narrowsburg, Cape serves as a volunteer ambulance driver and head of the Democratic Party and considers this his “social practice.” Continue reading