I was born in west central Ohio in 1972. I grew up with a fondness for the outdoors frequently running the woods and farm fields in my area. I have no formal training in sculpture or any type of art. I graduated from the University of South Florida in 1997 with a degree in American Studies, essentially an American Culture/history degree. I moved to New Mexico later that year, the fall of '97. In early '98 I was employed with a company in Santa Fe importing stone from China. Several months in I largely taught myself how to repair the many pieces that arrived from overseas damaged. I continued to use their tools playing around on days off making small things for family and friends. I then got the opportunity to sporadically watch a stone carver carve a fountain for the gallery. I thought it over for a few months and approached the owner with an offer to carve fountains for his gallery during my free time. Several months later most of my weekends were gone due to continually carving to keep up. It sort of served as a small business incubator for me with no upfront cost. I pulled stone, carved, installed, and sold my own work while working for someone else. After about 16 months I gave notice and opened my own gallery in Madrid in the spring of 2000. I have been independently carving stone full time for about 8 years now. The most fascinating part of my work is the stone itself. The perspective it gives dwarfs our experience here in this world. To open up a stone that has always been sealed, and at times for hundreds of millions of years still enthralls me. It represents the beginning of nearly all processes through its' mineral composition. They are at once so basic yet they feed the complexity of life in all its' forms. For me stone is the strongest representation of the term antique. It amazes me how we as people are always willing to spend so much of our money on something that has observed the passage of time and acquired the nicks, bangs, and bruises life offers. Consider an antique chair with so many layers of lives present on its' exterior surface; the scratches, spilled drink, and scuffs that are visible. The stories heard or told while someone sat, the grief, sorrow, and exuberant joy one felt while finding ease on its' sturdy legs. This is what I get from stone. The amazing occurrences in our world all took place under the stare of a plain old rock. Imagine the events witnessed. I get to affect that with my work. I get to add to it, or detract. And I get to share the little I understand about these things with those who may know less. The dichotomy of stone amazes me as well. The apparent softness of a polished surface against a worn and tired exterior. A once fluid material achieving such heft and hardness. Our inclination to see it as permanent. It is anything but that, as it too changes. Our time here is simply too brief and our gaze too narrow to allow that this piece of granite may one day literally melt. The texture, composition and color of the "blanket" or crust of a stone wears the trace of time beyond our everyday understanding.
ABOUT THE INTERIOR GALLERY
The avant-garde multi-artist John Cage has said "The best way to work is to empty out your head, to aim at nothing, to become the medium of a process that is almost outside of oneself." When artists get themselves out of the way, they make very authentic, instinctive work. We've tried to have the artists in the gallery represent this visceral kind of art. Something not coming from within but through the artist. The mood in the gallery is unpredictable because we follow the changing works of our artists. We hope you relate to their work and are surprised and moved in some way.
Madrid, New Mexico seems to be magnet for artists that are ready to remove themselves from the urban setting. Maybe it's the allure of the surrounding hills...the location (we're centered b/w Santa Fe and Albuquerque) ... or the quirky and often bizarre locals made up of musicians, painters,writers, actors, builders, craftsmen, nurses, vagabonds and more. This makes for a deep well of talent from which Range West is able to pull the most prolific and established artists to exhibit in our gallery.
All the artists Range West showcases are Madrid residents and friends. The work is very diverse and the materials, even more so. Each artist has a story, and we help them tell it.