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 

By Tyler Gaston

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