Featured Artist Elmer Petersen
Nancy the Goat, Appx. 3.5’ long, Welded sheet steel by Elmer Petersen
His only commissions before 1974 were the “World’s Largest Buffalo” tourist attraction, made of steel and concrete and a “Good Shepherd” for Bowman, ND. Up to that time, he was going to school or teaching and using that support to make art, experiment, problem-solve, and learn. Usually he worked for a while with the same material or medium, such as found objects, which contributed their own forms to the creation. He also worked for approximately two years with found materials that he picked from an auto scrapyard.
In the future, he’ll work primarily in cast bronze since it weathers better than welded steel. His personal quest is to discover a distinctly personal form, perhaps using a variety of materials and processes he’s familiar with. He is considering making welded steel portions which would give hard looking planes, and then integrating modeled clay areas to add intricacy or contrasting form. Both could then be translated to bronze for the final work.
Finally, he would like the audience of his work to experience the form, and being able to describe the sculpture in other ways than just what the sculpture depicts. Consider the crystal, the piece of driftwood, or the pebble with its smooth shape and color patterns. (continued on page 4)
These are not picked up and saved because they look like representations of people or things, the form is the main attraction, and the subject.
Currently, Elmer is creating a large sculptural group - four 6’6” figures depicting a single hurdler in action. The subject is Olympic hurdler George Poage, who graduated salutatorian from La Crosse High School and earned a degree in History at UW-Madison. Poage was the first African-American man to medal in the Olympics, held in St. Louis in 1904. The city of La Crosse is naming a newly designed and restored neighborhood park after Poage, in which Elmer’s sculpture will be displayed, perhaps as soon as September 2015. To learn more about Elmer’s work, visit:
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