Douwe Blumberg, (“Dow”, a Dutch name) came to his art career by a rather circuitous route. Born in Los Angeles of two amateur artists, his artistic gifts were evident early on. During a childhood that was almost a continual art education, he spent some formative years in Europe being exposed to western artistic traditions. Later he attended the University of Southern California’s prestigious Idyllwild School of the Arts and Music. This was followed up with four years of sculpture/metal working education during which he won many national awards. His education was capped by an apprenticeship at a CA art foundry where he mastered the many facets of creating bronzes. Hence his “art education” consisted of a unique and healthy mix of traditional schooling with hands-on apprenticeship. He attributes his ability to work in varied techniques and styles to this style of learning.
Upon graduation however, he did not immediately pursue an art career. Instead, he became a professional horse trainer, a career he pursued for 18 years at his ranch outside of L.A. Gradually, however, he started sculpting again, albeit part time, and began accepting commissions. As demand for his work grew, he was forced to choose between the two careers; his lifelong passion of sculpting won out. Closing his barn in 2000, he relocated to centrally located Kentucky where he has a studio and home north of Lexington. Douwe has completed well over 200 private and public commissions and has numerous awards, residencies and shows to his credit.
Ralfonso (Ralf Gschwend)
Designer of environmentally interactive, kinetic and light sculptures (sculptures that interact with the environment such as wind, water, etc.) since 1980. Since 1999 he specializes in the design and execution of large to monumental kinetic and light sculptures for public places from his studios in West Palm Beach, Florida, USA and Geneva, Switzerland.
His passion in life is Kinetic Art for Public Places. With this passion, as president from its inception, he co-founded the Kinetic Art Organization (KAO) www.kinetic-art.org in 2001 with a German and a US fellow Kinetic Artist. Now, with more than 1,000 members in over 60 Countries around the world, KAO has become the largest kinetic art organization in the world.
Jacob Harmeling was born and raised in Casselberry, Florida, in 1975 and now resides in Orlando, Florida, with his wife and two young children. Together with his wife, Jacquelyn, they own and operate a 9,000 square foot studio in Orlando where their life is encompassed by art and design. Jacob has been a professional sculptor since 1993, and has been creating individualistic works of art for 24 years. Raised in a family of artists who have influenced and encouraged his career from a very young age, Jacob has produced artwork in almost all mediums. Stone carving, glass casting and blowing, hand sculpted ceramics, forging of jewelry, bronze casting, woodworking, and varieties of painting styles are just a few. However, his unique styling of large and small scaled metal sculpture holds his true passion, defining and molding him as a skillful artist. Although he has worked in all varieties of metal, his expertise lies in the working of stainless steel, copper, aluminum, silver, and steel. Throughout the years, he has developed his own style of texture and form through experimentation of welding styles, heat tolerances and metal expansion and contraction through the use of “brut” force to gain his desired results. The combination of multiple metals in each piece amplifies the “yin and yang” or “light and dark” juxtaposition he is always striving for in his creations. Jacob’s inspiration primarily resides in natural, earthy elements which fuel his desire to mold this rigid media into organic, life-like forms. Fire is a significant element, not only used as a tool in creating his work, but also the subject matter in many pieces. It is the main character in all aspects of his artistic process, and the essence of the man that creates them. Over the last 24 years, Jacob has been continuously developing his style by challenging himself and his clients to look past what “has been created” and dare to push the envelope on what is “possible to create.” This is what defines his art and inspires him to evolve in his trademark stylings, pushing them to greater scales while creating new techniques in the process.
Todji Kurtzman is an internationally acclaimed artist whose sculptures are known for their exaggerated proportions and sublime expression. His monumental and pedestal sculptures are held by collectors in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Peru, France and Thailand. He has exhibited at Art Basel Miami, The New Orleans Jazz Festival, The Sundance Film Festival, Burning Man and annual charity events. His work can currently be seen on his website, www.todji.com, in art galleries, sculpture parks, and public art collections across the USA.
Todji holds a Bachelor’s degree in Art from the University of California Santa Barbara and has additionally studied at the New York Academy of Art and has taught at the Art Institute of Portland. Todji was born in San Francisco California, and lived in Rio de Janeiro where he was married and set up a sculpture studio. He recently returned to the USA, with his Brazilian wife and partner, to their home studio in Portland Oregon.
DEE DEE MORRISON
Sculpture interwoven into the public realm can serve as a social catalyst and a way to reveal complex ideas and issues in a engaging way. Deedee Morrison, a nationally recognized sculptor working on the forefront of creating solar powered and LED light sculptures to communicate public priorities and vision. Her past experiences have facilitated an integrated approach to art planning which emphasizes active collaborations and partnerships with design teams, landscape architects, architects, engineers and the community as a whole. She understands the big picture, and knows the importance of client and public involvement and the critical effect it has on the planning process and the project deliverable and outcome.
Morrison’s sculptural work has been heavily influenced by her interest in biological forms and light; coupled with an interest in nature is a fascination for technical and scientific advances. As a result, a unique style has evolved to reflect her understanding of the natural world by using industrial materials, computer numeric control cutting methods (CNC) and organically inspired designs to create solar powered light sculptures. By combining green consciousness with forward thinking and sustainable designs, each piece of artwork fabricated is a functional solar powered light sculpture that pays tribute to natureʼs beautiful efficiency. Deedee Morrison’s work is representational and symbolic – based on the continuous interplay of nature, humanity and technology – and the effect each plays on the other.
Morrison’s studio is in the home of the Old Republic Steel Mill and what is now the Wade Sand and Gravel Quarry in the heart of the “Birmingham District.” The sculptor works with limestone rock that has been harvested from an area in the quarry with 600 million years of geological history. The process of harvesting the limestone brings a certain awareness and perspective to her work. The second element of influence is the backdrop of the old steel mill that brought in the industrial development of the whole
Born in New Orleans in 1964, Morrison received her BA in Economics from The University of the South in Sewanee,Tennessee. In 2000, Morrison studied welding at Bessemer State College and began to work as a sculptor. Over the years, Morrison has expanded her spatial scope and currently focuses on large- scale works created for architectural, urban, or landscape settings.
Rench, C.J. Born in Elgin IL. in 1967. Self taught industrial engineer and product designer in the sporting goods industry, C.J. designed technical products and was awarded multiple patents for his innovative products. He began, designing, sculpting and fabricating metal sculpture full-time in 2004, working mainly with large-scale abstract design that reveals his dimensionality. His work, primarily in stainless and mild steel is very diverse ranging from small tabletop hand- painted sculpture to various monumental public installations. His extensive international travels as a result of his design work and entrepreneurial spirit have had a meaningful impact on his art. He has participated in various public exhibitions and has his sculpture at several galleries in the West. C.J.’s works include many large- scale sculptures for public, personal and corporate collectors throughout the U.S.
Wendy Ross received her Masters from the Rhode Island School of Design and has over 35 years of experience designing and executing private and publicly commissioned works of art, working successfully with architects, universities, design professionals, and state, municipal and federal art entities. Working in a variety of materials, including steel, aluminum, bronze, and ceramic tile, she is committed to LEED and sustainable approaches using innovative, state of the art LED lighting applications. Recognized both for her public bronze portraits as well as large-scale abstract sculptural installations, her work can be found throughout the U.S. Her portraits include works in the US Capitol as well as the US Supreme Court and her larger than life bronze of George Mason at the George Mason National Memorial on the National Mall in D.C. was described by J. Carter Brown, former director of the National Gallery of Art, as “one of the best pieces of public sculpture he had reviewed in his 30 years as Chairman of the Fine Arts Commission” (Washington Post 10/19/2000)
In 2000, Ross’ abstract steel works were included in the Neuberger Museum’s seminal exhibition and publication “Welded Sculpture of the 20th Century” and acquired for its permanent collection. A solo exhibition at DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park in Lincoln, MA from 2001-02 featured a collection of 20 steel maquettes and large-scale outdoor works. From 2005-2009, two large-scale outdoor steel sculptures were part of a nation-wide traveling museum exhibition of work by 11 sculptors curated by the Mint Museum and organized by International Arts & Artists. Transit, a large multi-unit installation suspended under the outdoor canopy entrance to the Convention at 7th and M, NW in Washington, D.C. was selected by the Federal Commission of Fine Arts as the sole example of their role in public art for their Exhibition: A Century of Design: The US Commission of Fine Arts 1910 – 2010 held at the National Building Museum in 2010. Her most recent commission – Flora, is a 40’ x 40’ x 18’ nine unit sculptural installation in aluminum located in the central outdoor fountain at Hopkins Plaza in downtown Baltimore, commissioned by the Downtown Partnership of Baltimore.
Meg White was raised in New Albany, Indiana. She displayed a skill in art at a young age, creating dinosaurs from clay before she was 5 years old. She excelled in art through High School though in mainly 2 dimensional work. She discovered the paper sculpture art of Ajin Noda in HOW Magazine which began her journey into the realm of 3 dimensional art. She progressed from bas relief sculptures to fully 3 dimensional cats constructed of Elmer’s glue and paper.
In 1991 she met Don Lawler who introduced her to stone carving. She liked the immediacy of working with stone, carving in a direct manner, starting with the nose and working back, releasing the form of what she was carving. Over the years she has created larger and larger works many of them with a narrative focus (Greek myths, Shakespeare plays). During this time she has also discovered bronze and has cast a number of sculptures in that medium. Meg has work in public and private collections across the United States.