Chris Hewitt: Artist in residence at Kurtz Woods State Natural Area
April 25, 2019 | Topics: featured artist
Chris Hewitt is one of 12 artists participating in a year-long residency program called ARTservancy, a collaboration between Gallery 224 in Port Washington and the Ozaukee Washington Land Trust. Each artist has selected an OWLT preserve to spend time in and to engage with. To read more about the artist in residency program, click here.
Artist statement by Chris Hewitt
My work is about relationships. Trying to connect. To find meaning. Explore. Like the mechanics of how things are put together. Creating new connections between dissimilar objects. Exploring natural materials and working at combining and recombining them into new relationships. From this process, sometimes a narrative forms. Sometimes the object may suggest a purpose or function, like a tool or a toy. And sometimes it is what it is. With the completion of these objects, the process, my process, is definitely not over. The ultimate test for doneness is to bring the work into my home. Because artwork is for the home. I know immediately if the work is complete, or good, by the connections it makes with other objects in the house. The new work needs to find a place. It needs to work with existing art, objects and furniture. Again, it’s all about relationships. If it can’t fit in, it needs to find another home.
I was thrilled when I was paired up with Kurtz Woods. It brought back memories of my childhood in Southeastern Wisconsin. We lived across the street from a large forest of mature trees and deep kettles and rocky moraines. I loved it and would spend hours walking around exploring and collecting. Kurtz Woods is just like that for me. I see this ARTservancy partnership as a chance to get some of that back into my life. To have time to get lost in thought looking at nature.
I’m going slow. Looking and listening. Taking friends to Kurtz woods for walks. This is an opportunity to savor and try new things. The first project is a very challenging coloring book. Using aerial photographs, I’ve mapped out rocks and fallen logs and overlaid these with the surrounding topography to create designs that are almost zen-like in their extreme simplification. I want the colorist to use this as a template to create their own connections with Kurtz Woods. It’s very minimal and open for interpretation. “Meaning” is where you find it.
The next project might be photography. Another thing I’ve never done. Why not?
Chris Hewitt received his BFA in Ceramics from University of Wisconsin, Milwaukee and his Masters degree in Studio Arts from the University of MN, Minneapolis. He is a sculptor who has been looking at the difference between art and craft for a very long time. His website is: www.thehumanmeasure.com
For more information and photos from Kurtz Woods State Natural Area, click here.
This is the latest is a series of featured artists in The Natural Realm, which is intended to showcase the work of photographers, artists, writers and other creative individuals in our community whose subjects or themes relate in some broad sense to nature, urban nature, people in nature, etc. To see a list of previously featured artists, click here. An exhibit of the work of ARTservancy artists in residence is scheduled to open at Gallery 224 on September 13, 2019.
All images courtesy of the artist, except as noted.