When Curtis Uebelhor was last on Artebella (July 2014), we described him as a “mixed media“ artist, but the word “interdisciplinary” has since gained usage and seems perhaps more apt. Like so many creative, Uebelhor seems to have a restless imagination that is not easily contained by any one medium. He is best known for his found-object constructions:
“I usually strive to utilize my fondness for ‘stuff’ by being very selective in the objects I pick for individual artworks. An idea may lay dormant for quite some before just the right object(s) is found or decided upon. Such is the case for ‘Latchkey # 2’ and ‘1894 World Geography-Redacted’. The keys, faux marble blocks, photograph and textbook had been in my possession for quite some time.”
“With the recent Drive-By Archeology Series I have departed from that work plan somewhat by limiting the objects used in a specific collage to only things collected at a specific site on a specific date. The series started in 2012 when I filled in as interim director of the New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art and was staying in town during the week at a private residence, and then at the USI guesthouse. I collected bits of ephemera from the yard of those houses and took photos of both places. Being in that historic town and revisiting the Historic New Harmony sites and the Working Men’s Institute and its plethora of odd and interesting collections became a starting point for this series that continues to evolve. The element of chance is an important part of these pieces; how to interpret what is found to make a cohesive composition shifts my role as curator from judiciously selecting items from an existing collection of objects to quickly jurying objects in or out of a collection as they present themselves ‘in the field’. “
“Willard Carpenter Home” and “Willard Library”, both seen here, are the most recently completed works in this series.
The artist here shares two pieces, “Focus, Please Focus,” and “Le Grande Bicentennial Tribute,” that are distinctly different from his sculptures, 2-D works that use intense color and patterns of shape in a whimsical manner.
“A sense of humor or playfulness is pervasive even when tackling serious topics like climate change, gender issues and our current political scene.”
Uebelhor currently has a one-person exhibition: Hunting and Gathering, at St. Meinrad Archabbey Library Gallery in St. Meinrad, IN that continues through February 20, 2018. He also has two sculptures in: The Chair: writ small - Invitational Exhibition, University of Southern Indiana, McCutchan Art Center, which runs through February 19, 2018
Hometown: Ferdinand, Indiana
Education: BS, Art, University of Southern Indiana; MFA, Sculpture, Southern Illinois University Edwardsville; Teaching Certification, University of Southern Indiana
Gallery Representation: New Harmony Gallery of Contemporary Art, Arts Council of Southwestern Indiana
Written by Keith Waits. Entire contents copyright © 2017 Louisville Visual Art. All rights reserved.