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18th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition & Exhibition
May 1, 2004 - Feb 28, 2005
Karyn Olivier, Tree House for Booker T. (Thanks Martin). 2004 / 18th Rosen Sculpture Competition Winner.
Juror: Alyson Baker
Curator: Hank T. Foreman
About the Juror
The Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition is an invitation for conversation and exchange. It is an exceptional opportunity for both the participating artists and the Appalachian State University community to engage in a discourse about the role of contemporary public sculpture. Now in its eighteenth year, this program has been an ongoing forum for an open exchange of ideas. With each new installation, an introduction is made between a national group of artists and the local community in Boone, North Carolina. The artists are given a chance to see and understand their work in a new context and to experience it from another perspective. For the artists who create site-specific works, it also offers an opportunity to respond to the campus environment and collaborate with the University staff and students. Those who interact with the works as part of the daily fabric of their lives are presented with challenges, surprises, and the gift of the artist’ experience, observations, and insight.
I am grateful to Hank Foreman for inviting me to participate in the 2004-2005 Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition and to Brook Greene and Tasha Nunn for their guidance and assistance with the jury process. Martin and Doris Rosen have established a program that is expertly administered, creating a warm, supportive and professional atmosphere for the presentation of sculpture and the creation of site-specific installations.
I would also like to offer special thanks to the artists who participated in this exhibition; it is their dedication, innovative thinking and willingness to share their vision that makes this such an engaging exhibition.
Socrates Sculpture Park
Long Island City, NY
Tree House for Booker T. (Thanks Martin): Karyn Olivier
Brooklyn, New York
Wood, aluminum, and rope
Rosen Award 1st Place
Using Martin Puryear’s seminal piece “Ladder for Booker T. Washington,” I made a 25ft rope ladder and miniature tree house. Both the ladder and tree house employ forced perspective creating an illusion of greater distance between the viewer and the tree house hoisted 3 stories above the ground.
About the Artist
Born in Trinidad and Tobago, Karyn Olivier received her MFA at Cranbrook Academy of Art and her BA in psychology at Dartmouth College. She exhibied her first solo exhibition in 2002 at Project Row Houses in Houston and is currently participating in a group show at the Sculpture Center in Long Island City. In 2003, Olivier’s work was exhibited regionally and nationally at the Soap Factory (Minneapolis, MN), The Glassell School Museum (Victoria, TX), the Dallas Center for Contemporary Art (Dallas, TX), and a solo exhibition at Pacific Northwest College of Art (Portland, OR). Recipient of the Louis Comfort Tiffany Biennial Award in 2003, she was recently awarded an Individual Artist Grant from the Cultural Arts Council of Houston and Harris County. In 2000, she was a recipient of the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture’s Camille Hanks Cosby Fellowship for African-American artists. She completed the Core Program Residency at the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston in May 2003 and was a finalist for the Artadia grant that same year. Her work has been featured and reviewed in Newsday (Queens Edition), The Houston Chronicle, The Houston Press, The Dallas Morning News, Star-Telegram, the magazines Dazed and Confused (London>, Art Lies, and 002. Exhibition catalogs include the Core 2002 and 2003 exhibitions. Olivier’s work has also been reviewed in artsjournal.com, and glasstire.com. Olivier is currently Assistant Sculpture Professor at the University of Houston. Her work is in the permanent collection of the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston.
Blame Physics: John Clement
Brooklyn, New York
Steel box tubing and pipe
The human figure is the source for my sculpture. Born of the figure, my work is the cumulative influence of gesture, structure and movement. The work is a mirror of process. Beginning with a gestural sketch, itself a record of action, the work evolves from line to form, from image to object. Similar to growth and form in nature, a sculpture develops, influenced by the environment. In terms of figuration this radically reverses the traditional role of environment from passive context to malleable medium. The figure does not sit in the environment; the environment is suffused by the figure.
As works in steel, these sculptures defy our knowledge of their materiality. They are characterized by lyricism and weightlessness inviting the interaction between viewer and artwork.
Broyhill Music Hall: McKendree Key
Brooklyn, New York
Plastic balls, hot glue, and wood. Site specific
In much of my work, I explore the ways in which artificial materials relate to the natural environment. Most of my installations are titled after the location in which they exist, because I see them as a way of altering a specific space or landscape. These places are still the same, but I change them by adding a foreign element. I am drawn to the way the natural elements such as air, light and water influence these manufactured objects, bringing them to life. I’m interested in the juxtaposition between the balls as perfect artificial spheres, and the forms which I create out of them; organic shapes that might resemble plant life, rock formations, eggs, cells, or the human body.
First Dog in Space: Katrin Asbury
In general, my work illustrates my thoughts about some of the lighter and more altruistic motivations for human progress and creativity, while never quite ignoring the other side of that progress, which is loss and destruction. My favorite work focuses on personal moral ambiguity, which I feel is strongly related to the ambiguities of technological and social progress. I’ve worked a great deal with different forms of narrative, from the subtly implied to the explicit voice-over, because I see the moment of motivation as a moment in a long history of continuum.
In a way sculpting animals makes perfect sense to me, as it emphasizes the oddness of life – the fact that all animals are composed of inanimate stuff to begin with, but by the miracle of biology are animate. At the same time, while I feel a great connection to all animals, they are all still ultimately unknowable. The animals in my sculptures somehow reflect that distance, as well. (Probably because they’re made of wood.) I’m concerned with the rifts between human and non-human animals, as the nature of those rifts defines more in our culture than is commonly acknowledged.
I originally intended this sculpture to be a memorial for Laika, the dog the Russians sent into space. But, actually, Laika didn’t look anything like this dog. I need to work on my portraiture skills. It’s ended up being a great deal more general, which I feel is appropriate, as Laika was just one animal among millions, in fact one dog among millions that was trustingly led to her death for the sake of human advancement or human convenience.
I find it sort of weird that years of experimenting with performance art, new media, and installation would lead me to carve animals out of wood. But, with the fear of sounding blithe, it may be another reflection of my thoughts about the non-linear nature of human advancement.
Monument for a Servant: Venske & Spänle
Brooklyn, New York
Metal, concrete and enamel.
In our work we explore the individual perception of surroundings. Ordinary items get a different aesthetic and content by being reduced to their essentials.
Monument for a Servant contains an outdated refrigerator. By removing all functional parts the fridge is reduced to a minimal form. Being elevated onto a concrete block, he becomes a monolith – an authority.
Like a general on a horse statue from another century, here the time specific color refers to a hero of a more recent past.
He served decades in a household, was discarded without honor and replaced by a new appliance.
-Venske & Spänle
Of This Earth: Kyle Van Lusk
Brevard, North Carolina
Steel and earth.
The inspiration and unifying theme of all my work is force.
I am drawn to and inspired by the tremendous beauty and power of the landscape that surrounds me – mountains, rivers, lakes. At the same time, I am also in awe of the force (God) that created such strength and beauty; a resident force that continues to resonate even after its completion.
Through form and materials, I work to convey a natural balance of power and beauty in a style that is suited to the material as well as the creator.
-Kyle Van Lusk
About the Artist
Kyle Van Lusk was born and raised in Brevard, N.C. and from a very young age was encouraged by his family to become an artist. Lusk received his first formal art training at Brevard College and later continued his undergraduate study at East Carolina University, earning his B.F.A. in 1995. Renowned for its excellent sculpture program, East Carolina University was also where Lusk chose to study as a graduate, earning his M.F.A. in 1998. Since completion of his graduate work in 1998, Lusk has created and exhibited work in galleries and public venues throughout the southeast. He served seven years on the Art faculty at Appalachian State University and is currently Associate Professor of Art at Brevard College in Brevard, N.C.
For more information, visit kylevanlusk.com.
Traveler: Hoss Haley
Asheville, North Carolina
Bronze and steel
I am inspired by the products of ingenuity – architecture, industry, invention. Though sometimes bolstered by hubris, I believe they are originally conceived with the best of intentions and in the spirit of hope. We strive to bring our vision of order and progress to the world, but as quickly as our monuments begin to dot the landscape, they are reclaimed by the forces of nature that we can never control. I find great beauty in this inevitable match.
Under Siege: Robbie Barber
Fake brick, steel, and found objects
In general, my works deals with the American landscape, and demonstrates my fascination with the strong visual character of this country’s vernacular architecture. Vintage lapboard houses, mobile homes and agricultural-related structures have become regional icons that tell the stories of the inhabitants of these structures. This implied history interests me deeply.
Typically treated as eyesores on the landscape, these structures are glaring reminders of the social and economic plight of a large segment of our society. Yet on a formal level, they have a hidden beauty I am drawn to, abundant with complex relationships of color, texture, and shape. Like the ashcan school of American painters from the early 20th century, I am interested in everyday subject matter. Like these artists, I believe there exists subtle nobility in these castles of the mundane.
About the Artist
Robbie Barber is currently Associate Professor of Art at Baylor University in Waco, Texas. Born in Williamston, North Carolina in 1964, he was raised on a farm near the Roanoke River in Martin County. He received his BFA degree from East Carolina University in 1987 and his MFA degree from the University of Arizona in 1991. He has gained notoriety as a sculptor working in a variety of media, and is the recipient of numerous awards. These include a North Carolina Arts Council Fellowship and a Southern Arts Federation/NEA Fellowship in Sculpture. He has exhibited at the Grace Museum in Abilene, Texas, Socrates Sculpture Park in Long Island City, New York, the Roswell Museum and Art Center in Roswell, New Mexico, the Rocky Mount Art Center in Rocky Mount, North Carolina, and Grounds For Sculpture in Hamilton, New Jersey, to name a few.
For more information, visit robbiebarber.com.
Untitled: Margaret Roleke
Galvanized steel and plexiglass
This sculpture “Untitled” was originally conveived for a park in Brooklyn, NY. It was double it’s current size and was a memorial to the firefighters killed in 9/11. However, it seemed too loaded a subject, so I changed the piece to what it is; a beautiful contemplative sculpture. “Untitled” changes its’ look throughout the day as the sun moves about it, and the collaboration of the plexiglass panels are affected.
A portion of the plastic balls was kindly donated by Euro-Matic Plastics, Inc. based out of Wilson, North Carolina.
Untitled III from the Skeuomorphic Works: Robert Craig
Des Moines, Iowa
Untitled III is from a series of three sculptures derived from utilitarian objects specifically chosen for enlargement to monumental scale. I am drawn to common and obscure objects from a modernist appreciation of form. My interest is equally sustained by awareness that these objects were designed for hand use and they are artifacts of a time when technology was still largely dependant on manual process. The shape, part-to-part functional relationship, age and wear became point of interpretation and abstraction. Resemblance to the original objects’ form and function were not as important as developing a series of sculptures that elicits a range of representations and associations.
About the Juror
Alyson Baker is the Executive Director of Socrates Sculpture Park, and internationally renowned outdoor museum and artist residency program located along the East River in Long Island City, Queens, New York.
With over seventeen years of experience as an arts administrator, Alyson Baker has worked on more than one hundred exhibitions with both emerging artists and world renowned figures such as Richard Serra, Cy Twombly, Frank Stella, Robert Rauschenberg, Mark di Suvero, Chris Burden, and Damien Hirst, and historical exhibitions including work by Henry Moore, Alexander Calder, Joan Miro, and Andy Warhol.
Baker was Director of Pat Hearn Gallery (1987-1992), an Associate Director of Gagosian Gallery (1992-1997), Curatorial Assistant in the Contemporary Art Department at the Carnegie Museum of Art, and Assistant to the 1999 Carnegie International exhibition (1998-2000).
As a Curator and Project Coordinator, Baker has authored and edited numerous publications on contemporary art. She has lectured at Brown University, the New School, the Rhode Island School of Design, and Cranbrook Academy of Art, and has served on juries, panels, and committees for such institutions as PS1 Center for Contemporary Art, Hunter College, the College Art Association, the Queens Museum of Art, and New York City’s Municipal Arts Society. Baker was on the Executive Committee of the Guggenheim Museum’s Young Collector’s Council, is a committee member of the New York chapter of ArtTable, a charter member of the New York Public Art Network, a co-founder of the Long Island City Cultural Alliance, and an ex-officio member of the New York State Artist Workspace Consortium.
About the Curator
Hank Foreman serves as Assistant Vice Chancellor of Arts and Cultural Affairs as well as Director and Chief Curator of the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts for Appalachian State University. He obtained his M.A. in Art Education from Appalachian, having completed undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Charlotte, with a concentration in Painting and Sculpture. His duties include the administrative responsibilities for An Appalachian Summer Festival, the Performing Arts Series, Farthing Auditorium and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts.
During his tenure at Appalachian State, Foreman has taken part in the organization of numerous exhibitions, including the associated lectures, symposia, and publications. He has worked closely with the university’s Department of Art, and a wide variety of other campus and community groups, to make gallery resources available to all. One of his earliest exhibitions at Appalachian, Views From Ground Level: Art and Ecology in the Late Nineties, brought internationally acclaimed artists, historians, and critics to the campus and received national attention.
Foreman is also an exhibiting studio artist, and participates in regional and national conferences as a presenter and panelist.
A Special Thanks from the Curator
On behalf of An Appalachian Summer Festival, the Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts, I wish to thank all of the artists participating in this year’s competition and congratulate those chosen for the exhibition. Each year the Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition is made possible by the generous support of Martin and Doris Rosen. The Rosens are tireless supporters of the arts, and over the years, have given so much of themselves to ensure that the arts become a more integral part of our community. Their excitement and dedication serves as both inspiration and role model. I would like to thank our juror, Alyson Baker, for investing the time necessary to review and consider each entry.
We wish to thank our colleagues in the Office of Cultural Affairs, and the Art Department. Special thanks to our designer – Ed Midgett, photographer – Troy Tuttle, Assistant Curator – Brook Greene, Program Assistant – Tasha Nunn, and Gallery Volunteer Intern – Megan Phillips. A huge thank you goes out to Jeff Prescott, Sonny Struss, and Chris Curtin for all of their assistance during installations. A heartfelt thanks to Jim Bryan – Grounds Superintendent, Evan Rowe and Beth Clark – Safety Officers, the entire Grounds Department of the Appalachian State University Physical Plant for their cooperation and expertise and for making our campus a beautiful venue for outdoor sculpture. Thanks goes to Dwayne Tester and the folks at Boone Crane and the university Roofing Department. Also a very special thank you to all of the sculpture students in the Art Department who chose to stay late and assist Site Specific Artist – Karyn Olivier with the building of her piece.
Hank T. Foreman
Director and Chief Curator