Go ahead, take a seat! The Heavyweight was commissioned for Krasl Art Center’s sculpture garden in 1994. From the beginning, the sculpture was intended to be welcoming and interactive. Each year, hundreds of children and adults climb on, stand on, sit on, and hug the 800-pound hippo now known as Lotus.
Dr. Burt Brent was an apprentice in a taxidermy studio at the age of thirteen. He went on to become a world-renowned surgeon, famous for ear and face reconstruction for children. In 1987, Brent sculpted a bronze rhinoceros for Rhino Rescue, an auction at Sotheby’s that raised money to establish a Kenyan rhino preserve. Dr. Brent’s rhino became an instant success, and since then he has created many wildlife sculptures, often donating his earnings toward other organizations like Rhino Rescue.
This sculpture is currently on loan to Krasl Art Center by great American sculptor, Richard Hunt. Hunt started attending the Junior School of the Art Institute of Chicago in seventh grade and received his BAE from SAIC in 1957. In 1962, he was the youngest artist to exhibit at Seattle’s World Fair, and he was the first African-American sculptor to have a major solo exhibition at the Museum of Modern Art in New York in 1971.
Native to Chicago, Hunt opened a second artist’s studio in Benton Harbor in 1995. His work can be found throughout the community, including the site-specific, monumental sculpture, Rising Crossing Tides, on Krasl Art Center’s recently updated campus.
“Echoing wind, water and the human form, Bouquet represents the elegant energy of nature in motion” stated Fritz Olsen, sculptor. This sculpture is dedicated to all of the past, present, and future volunteers of the Krasl Art Center.
Fritz Olsen has been sculpting in stone, bronze, and steel for over 30 years. He lives in Sawyer, Michigan, where he works in a restored 1930s Azalea nursery and exhibits his work in his Gallery and Sculpture Gardens.
The figure’s head gazes downward with hair rushing backward as if in motion. Harris says that the “movement in my sculpture is influenced by dance and the rhythms of nature. Dance is a pure form of expression.” This sculpture won the KAC 2016 Biennial Sculpture Invitational Purchase Award.
When this wind-powered sculpture is pulled along in the wagon (which the artist often does in his own neighborhood), it actually generates electricity, but where does the electricity go? The energy that the turbine creates is wired back into the supporting steel frame, which sustains the electrical current so that no energy is lost from the sculpture. The relationship between the turbine and its supporting structure – including the whimsical Radio Flyer wagon – is both practical and metaphorical.
In Albaugh’s words, “Working off of the largely youth driven call for environmental sustainability, and its utopian ideals, the intention is to bridge the aesthetic gap between this particular object of nostalgia/americana and the contemporary American political landscape. This piece demonstrates the literal and metaphorical relationship between supporting structures and the mechanisms that power those structures while illustrating a sustainable model between the two.”
This series of three geometric sculptures is solar powered. At night, the sculptures illuminate, casting patterns of light across their surroundings. Knight carves the intricate designs with an electric saw out of the same light but durable material that is used for commercial signs. To finish the sculptures, he uses paint that contains metal. By doing this, Knight can create a patina on the sculptures in a similar way that he would if he were working with solid metal.
Chris Knight picked up his first electric saw as a teenager to turn a two-dimensional image into a three-dimensional work of art. Now, Knight is a Chicago-based artist who makes three-dimensional sculptures and signs, often out of reclaimed wood. His reclaimed barn wood signs can be found all over the world, including the Goose Island Fulton St. Brewery in Chicago and the Baltimore, Maryland, Home Office for Under Armour.
Overseer towers 13 feet above the ground, as tall as the first story of Krasl Art Center. Although the figure standing atop the tree trunk might appear to be sculpted from stone or clay, it is actually cast bronze! Below, pieces of aluminum cast from a real tree trunk were welded together to create the column on which the figure stands.
Natella was raised and educated in Italy, studying sculpture in the classical tradition at the Academy of Fine Arts in Naples. She moved to the United States to study bronze casting techniques and received her MFA in sculpture from Western Michigan University. Natella currently serves on the faculty at the Ernestine M. Raclin School of the Arts, Indiana University, South Bend
Walk under and around this sculpture. Sit down on its base and look up. Richard Hunt designed Rising Crossing Tides as a gateway to Krasl Art Center and the local community. The monumental sculpture that welcomes to you is intended to encourage you to interact with nature and the public art you find here!
The curvilinear forms of Rising Crossing Tides are an abstraction of the local environment. They might remind you of the wind or the waves of Lake Michigan as they crash against the bluff. Like waves, the shape of the sculpture lifts upward, which is a common theme in Hunt’s work. Hunt considers the way his sculptures take up space similar to the way birds or planes move through the air or fish move through water, often contributing to the wing-like shapes that make up his sculptures.
Richard Hunt started attending the Junior School of the Art Institute of Chicago in seventh grade and received his BAE from SAIC in 1957. In 1967, Hunt completed his first large scale public sculpture commission. This was the beginning of what Hunt calls “his second career,” when he began to work on sculpture that “responded to the specifics of architectural or other designed spaces and the dynamics of diverse communities and interests.”
Ground Wave is a site-specific installation, which means that it did not arrive at Krasl Art Center in the form that you see now. Peter Krsko worked at KAC daily for a week to construct the frames and add the layers of lath that create this tripart sculpture. Krsko salvages unwanted lumber to use for these projects he calls Arboria. By shaping the lath around the frames, he returns the prefabricated material to the organic, tree-like forms from which they were originally milled.
Peter Krsko received a Ph.D. in Biophysics and Material Science from Stevens Institute of Technology in 2006. Today, he makes bioinspired art that focuses on observing and listening to nature and expressing his observations through objects and experiences.
Can you feel the wind off the bluff today? The breeze is what helps make George Rickey’s sculpture, Three Lines Diagonal – Jointed Wall, move! There are NO motors in this sculpture. Notice how the shadows and light change as the three stainless steel arms swing into different positions. Each day, this sculpture will make a never-ending arrangement of random movements.
This kinetic sculpture became part of KAC’s collection in 1986. Born in 1907 in South Bend, Indiana, Rickey has become a regional and internationally known artist with artwork in Southwest Michigan, New York, London, Germany and beyond.