Sunday, March 4, 2012

"Viscosity" Showcasing the sculpture of Michael Sturtz & Benjamin Cowden

Show runs February 20th through April 14th , 2012

Benjamin CowdenMichael Sturtz

Viscosity is a mix of kinetic and found objectification art, mimicking and expanding beyond the human experience.

Michael Sturtz:

As a fixture of the Bay Area arts community, Michael has worked as a sculptor, a teacher, and as a facilitator since the early 1990s.  As the founder of  The Crucible  , a non-profit industrial arts education facility and gallery, he is known for his innovative creativity and ability to make challenging artwork and ideas possible.
Michael’s pieces address concept and form through the visualization of fused biological and mechanical elements. His sculptures are hybrids of impossible pairings and momentous environments coming together to radiate destructive and re-constructive energy.
His art showcases a strong juxtaposition between materials including; metals and glass, stone and kinetics, fire and liquid, 3D objects and video.  By contrasting natural functions with industrial and technological processes, Michael has formed a body of work that is incapable of stagnation, and instead explores the exponential evolution of medium and concept.
Benjamin Cowden:
Benjamin Cowden began working with metal during an undergraduate anthropology project in Cameroon in 1997, where he studied how Baka Pygmies turned worn machetes into utility knives. He later worked with street-jewelers in Costa Rica, learning small metals techniques, before taking a more formal route to education by attending blacksmithing workshops at the John C. Campbell Folkschool in North Carolina. Benjamin was an Artist-in-Residence at the Appalachian Center for Crafts in Tennessee from 2001 to 2003, during which time he focused on utilitarian forged ironwork, including furniture and kitchenware. Cowden began earnestly making sculptures in 2004 when he entered the Master of Fine Arts in Metals program at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. Making work which viewers can touch and use remained central to Cowden’s work, and throughout his graduate studies Benjamin focused on interactive mechanical devices which addressed human experience. After receiving his M.F.A., Mr. Cowden relocated to Oakland California, where he is continues to explore the depths of mechanical sculpture. His current fascinations include pseudo-random and 3-dimensional movements, as well as 3-D printing in metal.