Posted by: groundsforsculpture | October 2, 2010

Interview with Artist in Residence Eric Schultz

This month, found-object artist Eric Schultz will be in residence creating a humanoid sculpture in his own unique, comical style repurposing and recycling items used in our everyday lives.  The residence will take place October 11-15 and October 18-22 from 10 am – 4 pm.

Posted here is part 1 of a 3 part interview by Ruthann Perry, volunteer docent.

PART 1  We meet at Eric’s studio in the Motor Arts Building on Monday. August 23. The park is closed. It’s raining. Wet, scraggly peacocks are loitering by the entrances and exits. Eric zips up in a golf cart.

He gives me a tour of the latest collection of junk for the project coming up in October. He’s got it organized pretty well, considering it’s, well, junk. We ooh and ahh over some of the donations – the outpouring has been wonderful.

Throughout the studio are his sculptures. I love being able to look at them up close. He shows me his newest. Each has so much to look at…….

I’m here to talk to Eric about the upcoming Artist-in-Residency he’s been awarded at GFS. With the help of the public – volunteers – Eric will be constructing “Sleeping Giant” in the park come this October. The “Giant” will be made of the refuse of everyday life – all of which has been donated and collected and stored in his studio. We wend our way through it to a sitting area. It’s a little sea of comfort amongst all the stuff; an old leather couch and an armchair; a desk, file cabinet, some bulletin boards. After a little small talk, we begin.

To start, we discuss the project. I ask Eric how this process works at GFS; how does one become an “Artist in Residence”?

He responds that Artists submit their ideas and if and when they are accepted and logistics can be worked out (this is a simplification, of course) the green light is given.
“I’ve always felt that working with salvage, I needed to convince people that this is legitimate as a medium. In the past my pieces have been called ’not finished’. But it seems like the tide is changing now. People view this kind of art differently now. What was once considered ’outsider art’ is becoming more ’green’, therefore more of an acceptable form of art making.
“I wanted to try to correct – in the public’s perception- how all this stuff finishes – how it ends up. I was looking to work on a macro scale; a recognizable figure or icon to describe the magnitude of the waste products we are churning out. Even the name ’Sleeping Giant’ describes what is out there.
“Using people’s junk and people volunteering their labor make it a collaborative statement. It feels cumulative. Starting with the black hole of collecting all of this stuff to the finished project, this is a creation of energy: people working together, their waste, (their excess) their creativity together. Since we have enough to have all of this excess, we owe it to the planet to use it.”
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