Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Rocks Rock! Creative Lives Series - Michael Metcalf, Sculptor

When my youngest daughter was learning to drive, we frequently went out along the dirt roads around Santa Fe to fulfill the hours of driving required to get her drivers' license. There usually were no cars around, only Chamisa, Asters, Jupiter and Pinion trees... and lots of rocks.  Maybe an occasional rabbit.

Brittany laughingly tells of my frequent shouts of "stop".  Not because she was going to hit something, or was going too fast, or any other transgression in her driving skills, but because I had spotted a rock that I wanted.  My sudden exclamations did not, however, get any less startling for her over the course of the weeks we spent on the dusty roads.  

I have always loved rocks.  I remember filling my pockets with them when I was a tiny little girl.  Sifting through the sand at a beach to find just the perfect small rock to take home.  Fantasizing about lifting that boulder out of the Grand Canyon with a helicopter to take home for my garden.  Any future geologist,  should they study sites where I have lived, will be amazed at the sorts of rocks that they find--- completely away from their place of origin.  I haul rocks home in my suitcase from trips out of the country,  or hidden in dry boxes or bags from raft trips.  

I stop along roadways to pick up rocks exposed by excavators.  I have been known to haunt construction sites after dark because of a rock that looked interesting, and I was extremely proud to win a fabulous specimen of a rock in my college geology class at New Mexico State University.  

So it is little wonder that  Michael Metcalf's  sculptures have captured my imagination...

My husband and I were recently in Silver City attending the Gila River Festival.  We traveled with friends, one of whom is an artist, and of course, she and I had to visit all the art galleries we could walk to from our hotel.  Silver City has been experiencing sort of a renaissance in recent years as the mining industry has begun to wind down and retirees are beginning to make this little jewel of a New Mexico town their homes.  At one of the galleries (rivaling anything in the rarefied Santa Fe art scene) I discovered Micheal's work.  The Seedboat Center for the Arts Gallery has a great website here

My friend Vicki,  has a large collection of whimisical folk art which she has collected during her world travels and she purchased several pieces from the gallery.  The Seedboat Gallery is located in an interesting old building with lots of skylights. 

If you are traveling in the southwest corner of New Mexico be sure to stop by and visit.  The owner, Nan Spragens  is very friendly and clearly loves the artists that she represents.  

But back to sculpture.  Michael Metcalf is Chair of the Expressive Arts Department at Western New Mexico University in Silver City.  Here is a bio by the University website.  Michael, like my former teacher Frank McCullough, not only teaches but creates his own accomplished artwork.  If you missed my post about Frank McCullough, click here and find out how I almost got kicked out of student teaching.

This is the one piece that I want...

At the corner of Louisiana and I40
Well rats, it has already been purchased by the City of Albuquerque for their Public Arts Program.  Maybe I could live with this one as well...
Michael Metcalf with his sculpture
Nope, can't have that one either, Albuquerque has snagged it too!  

Okay, third choice, but still available....
And it would fit into my car for the ride from Silver City to Albuquerque.

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