About twenty Pacific Northwest Sculptors group members and guests gathered at the home of fellow sculptor Andy Kennedy and his partner Stephanie Buddenbaum on the evening of October 19th for the group’s monthly informal get-together.
A different member artist hosts the gathering each month.
The potluck affair began with time to get reacquainted before everyone moved on to Kennedy’s studio out back. The studio is a converted garage teeming with hundreds of clay sculptures, large and small. Kennedy spoke informally about his work, saying he has “been doing raw expression in paint and clay for years,” since the late 1980s at The Evergreen State College at Olympia, Wash, where he completed a bachelor of arts program.
“Raw” is an apt description of many, if not most, of Kennedy’s sculptures on display in his studio. They are evocative of an experience he described at Evergreen in which he created drawings from photographs of dissected cadavers.
Most of his human-form sculptures—nearly all of the large body of work in his studio is human form—possess not an unsettling quality but an aura of “one step beyond,” a view of what it is like on the other side of where we are.
Kennedy describes this in another way on his website, “Objects that inform by asking the unanswerable.” Saying that “we should all draw more,” a remark that elicited a collective murmur of agreement from the room full of sculptors, Kennedy went on to share more of his 2-D work besides the cadaver drawings at Evergreen.
Interactivity Encouraged at Sculptors Group
In his slide show, he shared examples from a mostly pastel chalk series he called “missing children drawings,” adapted from images of missing children reproduced on milk cartons in a 1980’s nationwide awareness campaign about kidnapped children. Later, he created a public installation about the missing children. Besides working in clay, Kennedy also hand-builds in concrete on armatures, sometimes adding features in wood.
He has created several larger-scale outdoor installations in concrete, “yard sculptures” that, over time, are cloaked in vegetation and become integral with the environment they inhabit.