Monday, March 12, 2012

Closing reception - Stephen Wolochowicz

This past Saturday was the closing reception for Stephen Wolochowicz's work in our gallery at Beech Grove Clay Works. We were really honored to have a sculptor of his caliber exhibit his work here. He gave a slide lecture and talked a little about some of the work he's made past and present, and what his inspirations are. I always enjoy hearing artists speak about their work, what's going on in their heads when they make a specific piece, and what the process was. He's made large scale sculptures that were taller than him and weighed 750 lbs! We got to see examples of small scale functional work that he's made as well - little "Shot Glasses for the Masses" shaped like little oil drums with oil slicks as a serving tray. I like that even the most abstract non-figurative sculptor is pulled back to making some functional work now and again by the material. And it's cool to see cups that look fully integrated into his body of work and aesthetic.

Stephen is very inspired by "cartoon aesthetics" married with industrial forms. I can definitely get into a sculptor who's inspired by Wile E. Coyote and Roadrunner cartoons. 
Stephen talking about his large scale sculpture installation.
Mine field installation
Mine field installation - one of several.
Oil drum tumblers
A very cool slip cast series where he cast each cup from the previous one. Each cast shrunk after firing, so the form degenerated with each generation, until it became a tiny wobbly little blob of a cup.
Current body of work - his "Inflation" series.
Wood fired piece
The show in our gallery.
I wasn't sure how the slide lecture would go, since Stephen is used to speaking in a more academic setting, and we're a pretty informal community studio. It went wonderfully, and Stephen was engaging and interesting to listen to. Everyone asked a lot of questions, which is always a good sign. I think artist talks might become a regular thing at our openings, so we can learn more about the people whose work we feature. 

Tomorrow I will post pictures from the workshop Stephen gave on Sunday, so you can see a little bit of how he builds his forms. Very cool stuff! Check out more of Stephen's work on his website at

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