The Batesville Area Arts Council presents Seeing Clouds, an exhibition by Andy Denton, at the BAAC Gallery on Main (226 E Main St) January 16 - March 1, 2024.
I create sculptures using fabricated metal and figurative ceramic or cast metal. The ceramic figures are typically supported by metal pedestals, together they form a cohesive sculpture. Through my work, I explore the duality of spirituality and agnosticism, and the opposing relationships between magic and skepticism in contemporary life. My ceramic and metal sculptures are inspired by my personal experience with religion, and the power of art to change our perception of reality, while not taking it very seriously.
My funny-looking abstract sculptures evoke emanations that surround living beings and transform them into a tangible form. Drawing inspiration from artists such as HC Westermann and Lorado Taft, I create totemic sculptures that bridge sci-fi vernacular, mythology, and craft traditions. By emphasizing the inherent spiritual and critical values of fine art, I aim to reveal truths about life through allegory and symbols and sometime goofiness.
I love working with metal for its versatility, strength, and beauty, and ceramics for its unpredictability, warmth, and rawness. Some of my work references historical figurative statuary, while in others, monstrous beings emerge from clouds. Clouds symbolize both humanity’s connection to the planet and are often used in religious art to symbolize heaven or to accompany deities.
In the face of climate change, my work has become reflective of this crisis, exploring the concept that clouds could be vessels for consciousness. My latest sculptures depict clouds with eyes emerging out of them, watching us as we watch them. Using earthy materials such as ceramic and metal to try to create art that is universal and provokes awe or fear or humor. By exploring the idea of water molecules forming tangible shapes in the sky, I invite the viewer to look up and wonder about who might be looking back.
Andy Denton is a skilled metal fabricator, sculptor, and potter based in Little Rock. As a metal and ceramic sculptor with over 20 years of experience in the arts industry, he has earned various grants and exhibited his work all over the United States and Europe. When he isn’t working on large-scale sculptures, you might find him at a farmers markets selling goofy face-pots. He spent two years as Artist-in-residence at the Armory Art Center in West Palm Beach, FL where he taught sculptural welding and exhibited his artwork. He also served as Interlochen Center of Art’s Studio Manager for eight summers. He has earned an MFA from East Carolina University and a BFA from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Andy Denton moved to Arkansas to be the studio manager and fabricator for sculptors Maritza and Terry Bean. He recently completed the Artist INC program through Mid-America Arts Alliance in Little Rock. He enjoys nature hikes, urban bicycle rides, baking sourdough bread and learning acoustic guitar. Andy grew up near Richmond, Virginia. For more information, visit www.andrewwilliamdenton.com or follow him on Instagram.com/andystani.