2009-10 Sculpture Competition

Debaris Tumpkin

Debaris Tumpkin

Artist: Verina S. Baxter, Flintstone, GA
Media: Painted Aluminum and Stainless Steel, 9' x 6' x 4'
Location: The Downtown Center

The Tumpkin series is a group of sculptures — always on wheels — with one or several cut-out plates either suspended or hanging inside the structure. I'm interested in the play of light and shadow produced by the sculpture and the cut-out shapes as the sun or other light sources change based on the time of day or the season. Because Debaris is one of the Tumpkins tall enough for the viewer to move under the structure, I also find the view of the sky and the movement of clouds very interesting.

Verina Baxter's career as a professional artist began in the early 1990's. After working exclusively in stone for several years, Verina began incorporating painted aluminum and, more recently, stainless steel, into her artworks. While stone remains her material of chioce, several of her new works are all metal.

In addition to her career as a sculptor, Verina has a deep commitment to the arts community. She is a founding member, and currently president of the Mid-South Sculpture Alliance (MSA). For Allied Arts of Greater Chattanooga, she served as secretary in 2007 and 2008, and as fundraising co-chair for 2006 and 2007. She served as selection committee co-chair in 2007 for Spectrum for the Hunter Museum of American Art, where she is currently on the Audience Development Committee. Verina was a member of the City of Chattanooga Public Art Committee, the City of Chattanooga Public Art Master Plan Steering Committee, and the Public Art Transition Committee for the 21st Century Waterfront.

Verina's international education includes the University of Tennessee at Knoxville; the Arrowmont School of Arts and Crafts in Gatlinburg, Tennessee; the Loveland Academy of Fine Arts in Loveland, Colorado; and the Abruzzi Mountain Art School in Anversa degli Abruzzi, Italy. Her artworks are exhibited internationally and included in numerous private and corporate collections.

Visit verinabaxter.com to learn more about Verina S. Baxter.

And Then One Day... It Happened

And Then One Day... It Happened

Artist: Charlie Brouwer, Floyd, VA
Media: Locust wood, deck screws, preservative stain, 12' x 3' x 3'
Location: Green space beside Shelby Street municipal parking lot

In 2003 I turned to the human figure for my outdoor sculptures. I depict people in poses and situations that reveal something of the human condition — our desires, wonders and work, our questions concerning our purpose, and about our relationships with each other and the world. I make them out of locust wood because it is the hardest, and most naturally weather resistant wood available. It grows in my region and has been the traditional fence post wood. A combination of milled lumber and natural tree trunks and limbs provide me with an interesting variety of geometric and organic planes and forms to construct my figures. This combination also suggests that humans are part nature and part their own invention.

I intended And Then One Day... It Happened to be about someone who had desired transcendence or enlightenment and then it suddenly happened and became a means to rise above himself.

Charlie Brouwer was born in Holland, MI.

Visit charliebrouwer.com to learn more about Charlie Brouwer.

Key Hole

Key Hole

Artist: Dana Gingras, Weaverville, NC
Media: Oxidized and Oiled Steel, 3' x 3' x 7'
Location: Bristol Tennessee Courthouse

Key Hole is one of the latest pieces from my window series. This series celebrates steel for its strength and timelessness, but also incorporates the context of the natural world. The windows, while definitely substantial in size and weight, urge the viewer to see them, but also to see through them, to focus on the negative space and all the beauty that surrounds them. My goal is to create something new and visually stimulating, yet still retain the natural dignity of material.

Dana Gingras grew up surrounded by nature at the foothills of the Berkshires in Northwest Connecticut. After traveling extensively throughout Europe and the states he received his degree from The University of Connecticut. Continuing his education he spent the next four years apprenticing with noted glass and steel sculptor Larry Livolsi. Ever since he has maintained a studio focusing on large-scale work and custom interior pieces. His primary mediums are glass, metal, and wood. His work comes from the process of understanding these materials, their intrinsic properties, and inherent beauty. He currently resides in Weaverville NC.

Visit danagingras.com to learn more about Dana Gingras.

Midden Artifacts

Midden Artifacts

Artist: Brian Glaze, Hendersonville, NC
Media: Cast concrete, 4.5' x 5' dia. (each)
Location: Anderson Street Park

During my time in WNC I have become aware of clear cutting, strip mining, and landfill issues in the Blue Ridge Mountains spanning from Virginia on through the Carolinas. This work comments on two points of decimating our natural landscape. First, on the clear-cutting of second and third growth forests with minimal regulations, native plant and wildlife are displaced, endangered, or — in some cases — extinct. The second deals with ground water contamination through strip mining and soil leeching from landfills which were not properly constructed or maintained.

Visually, the forms draw a parallel to the design of methane caps used for gas ventilation for landfills. This became interesting to me, as the form also resembled a stripped mountaintop, with the reddish/brown color referencing the action and damage caused from the clear cutting.

Growing up in northeastern Ohio, Glaze has been surrounded by the steel industry all his life. With family ties dating back five generations, he feels a strong connection to these materials. His work has grown from traditional steel sculpture to include mixed media and collaborative multimedia performance. He works with traditional media (e.g. painting or sculpture) while exploring new avenues that technology has to offer, reinventing the reasons for working in a particular medium, while using new elements to complement that medium.

Visit briannglaze.com to learn more about Brian Glaze.

Memory Bomb

Memory Bomb

Artist: Adam Walls, Pembroke, NC
Media: Steel, Iron, Music Box, Paint, 3'10" x 5' x 72"
Location: Green space beside fire department on Lee Street

This piece is very user friendly and interactive. Housed inside the opening is a music box which plays a lullaby. This music box is from the teddy bear which was passed down to me from my brother when I was very young; it's been an outdoor piece for over a year now, and it still works. Just as the memory of a wonderful meal or a favorite garden can be stirred by a familiar scent, so can memory be stirred by a sound. In this piece, a simple wind up music box is used to bring up memories of childhood, yet the image of this time-worn, dangerous- looking sculpture which emits this sound warns us that there is a price to be paid for some memories unwanted.

Adam Walls has graduated with a BFA in Art Education from Limestone College in Gaffney South Carolina in 1996 after which he taught art both privately and through the public school system in South Carolina. Adam's love of escapist fantasy was apparent in his drawings and paintings for several years, but after taking a ceramics course he found that depicting his love and inspiration could also exist in three dimensional forms.

Adam's love for construction and building sculptural forms lead him to leave education and to pursue his MFA in Sculpture from Winthrop University in Rock Hill SC in 2005. Since that time Adam's work has been shown in sculpture parks, universities, and in exhibitions across the country. Adam is currently head of Sculpture Program at UNC-Pembroke in Pembroke NC.

Visit sculpturebyadamwalls.com to learn more about Adam Walls.

Loose Affiliation

Loose Affiliation

Artist: Mike Hansel, Newport, RI
Media: Mild Steel, 9' x 4' x 5'
Location: Bristol Public Library, Lower Level

I think of my sculptures as reconstructions from my visual memory. Each design is the result of personal observations of my surroundings that have been processed and re-invented in my mind. My ideas go through many evaluations during the design process and construction of each sculpture. I generate and develop most of my ideas through the use of preliminary drawings and clay models. Most recently, the work has explored the concepts of stability and the relationship between numerous elements to create a unified whole. Loose Affiliation takes three rigid forms that appear to be flexible and lively. The three elements work together to maintain an uncertain balance. This tenuous situation is the concept used to produce many of my recent compositions.

Visit mikehansel.com to learn more about Mike Hansel.