Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition

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Derek Chalfant
Elmira, NY
Stainless steel
12′ 2″ x 3’ 4″ x 2’

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The Dance by Wayne Vaughn
The Dance by Wayne Vaughn
The Dance by Wayne Vaughn

Artist Comments

The creative work I produce is developed through fabricating (metal, wood, appropriated) objects and casting (bronze, aluminum, glass, chocolate, wax, resin) while transforming my ideas and experiences into physical realities.  I have an interest in the orchestration of a variety of materials and search for contrast between the organic and geometric, the abstract and representational, and the raw and refined. Themes, sources, and objects employed in my work range from scientific and historical facts to global contemporary issues. I recurrently forge in layers of meaning that can interconnect to my own personal history, which gives me an ancestral connection.

Many of the forms I create are objects of implied utility, security and protection, which are used as metaphors for our psychological behavior, and for the phenomenology of the body. Architectural furnishing and structures such as a bed, chair, house or table, allow me to explore specific polar states that are relevant to the structure and also to the personal psyche such as: large/small, inside/outside, private/public, adult/child, beginning/end, birth/death.  The sculptures and installations fashioned are a means to reflect poignant elements of our society.  Part of the narrative in my pieces has to do with the human condition, in particular today’s elderly and youth, as well as our social and environmental conditions.

To the viewer I hope to engage and reflect my inquiries and interests related to the human spirit and sensitivity toward all life forms.  It’s my desire for my sculptural work to be thought provoking as I attempt to create a richness of meaning with the ambiguities, enigmas, multiple layers and conflations of both form and content.  Ultimately, I am responding to some my interests (and those of others) research, emotions and environment while questioning, and examining, the world in which we live.

Derek Chalfant

About the Artist

Derek Chalfant is currently an Associate Professor at Elmira College, NY. He previously served as an Assistant Professional Specialist, Visiting Assistant Professor of Sculpture and Adjunct Assistant Professor of Sculpture and Technician of Art Department all at the University of Notre Dame, IN. Chalfant received his BFA in Sculpture and Furniture Design/Woodworking from the Herron School of Art, Indiana University-Purdue, and his Master of Fine Arts in Sculpture, University of Notre Dame. He has participated in many fellowships, exhibitions and is in many collections on the east coast of the US.

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