Join us Saturday, August 15th at 4 pm in the Sculpture Park for light refreshments and a conversation with West Branch sculptor, David Stromeyer.
While you’re more likely to see him in a welding helmet than a lab coat, sculptor David Stromeyer approaches his artistic endeavors methodically, posing himself questions to explore through his work, namely the creation of large-scale steel sculptures, not unlike a scientist setting off on a new path of research. Whether that path be directed towards the subject of materiality- think stainless steel rods bent and twisted in a mediated, physical exploration of human anatomy and movement- or towards an attempt to break down geometric forms and manipulate the way that we interact with the spaces they create, the resulting pieces mark a steel trail along a line of personal inquiry. The Cold Hollow Sculpture Park, David and wife Sarah’s 200-acre labor of love in Enosburg, with fifty of his sculptures on display, stands as a visual record of the questions David has been exploring with steel and stone for forty years.
Exploring the Sculptural Narrative
The history of art, according to Stromeyer, has always been concerned with the figurative. Cyclical like fashion trends “bringing back” decades past, it is a theme artists will return to time and again. Stromeyer is no exception and shares in this concern for this question of the figurative. As a wedding gift to his wife 33 years ago, he created a piece entitled “Keep Dancing” that evoked the elegance of a male and female form mid-step, a steel sculpture with a kinetic sense of effortless human motion. In a series of four recent works, including “Shaping the Void” now on view at West Branch, Stromeyer felt compelled to explore the figurative once more, this time with what feels like a stronger narrative sensibility. Though Stromeyer insists, it both is and isn’t narrative; his paths of exploration tend to favor open-ended questions. He invites us to lend our own interpretations and implied narratives to the end results, all of which he deems equally valid.
A Shared Vision of Outdoor Sculpture
Christopher Curtis, partner at West Branch Gallery & Sculpture Park in Stowe and established sculptor with several decades under his own artistic belt, has long admired David’s work. “Our affiliation was a natural one,” says Chris, “with David creating elegant but extremely large pieces that are difficult to move and install and West Branch being experienced with large outdoor work.” Curtis’ experience as a sculptor has helped the gallery to establish lasting relationships with nationally known sculptors, such as Bruce White, Jonathan Prince, and Jeffrey Laudenslager. “After a long association with somebody, you get to know their language,” Chris shares, “And the siting of sculpture- involving site selection, base preparation, etc.- is a very important aspect to both David’s and my appreciation of this outdoor sculpture phenomenon.” This July, Stromeyer’s “Shaping the Void” claimed its new site in West Branch’s sculpture park, it’s leaping red and purple forms visible from all corners of the grounds.
David Stromeyer Speaks at West Branch
On August 15th at 4pm, David will discuss the evolution of his narrative and how he settles upon these questions to examine through his art, with a special focus on the development of “Shaping the Void,” the figurative sculpture recently erected on West Branch grounds. With the gallery’s own sculpture park serving as the perfect backdrop for an informal afternoon conversation about his creative process, we will enjoy light refreshments and have the opportunity to chat with David following his 20-30 minute talk.
Photo of Keep Dancing courtesy of David Stromeyer and Cold Hollow Sculpture Park