Brushes & Other Multiples
An eclectic multi-media display
About the Artists
RON KOEHLER BIO
Born in Cape Girardeau, Missouri on September 30, 1950. Koehler received a B.S. in Art Ed. (1972) and MAT degree (1975) from Southeast Missouri State University and MFA in Sculpture (1980) from the University of Memphis. He taught sculpture at Delta State University retiring after 35 years of service receiving the title of chair emeritus and professor emeritus along with the 2016-17 Outstanding Teaching Award. He also served as the International President of Kappa Pi International Art Honor Society from 1998 - 2014. Kappa Pi has over 500 chapters on college and university campuses throughout the U.S. and abroad.
Current studio interest involves the human figure, food, tools, and the paint brush. His “Dadaist” bent paint brush reference of mass producing his own ready-made objects have included installation of over a thousand paint brushes. Some of his sculpture traveled for throughout the U.S. and New Zealand in the “Tri-state Sculptors Suitcase Exhibition”. Other work traveled for three years throughout the U.S. and Taiwan in the “International Shoebox Sculpture Exhibition”. His work is included in many public collections throughout the country and abroad, including the John Hechinger “Tools as Art Collection” in Washington, D.C. and the State of Hawaii Foundation on Culture and Arts through the Art in Public Places Program and the West Palm Beach International Airport.
His sculpture has been exhibited in over 700 exhibitions in 50 states receiving over 100 awards including 20 purchase awards. Photographs of his sculpture have appeared in over 70 exhibition catalogues, magazines and books including: Fine Woodworking; American Craft; Woodwork Magazine; Sculpture: Technique, Form, Content; Wood Art Today; The Sculpture Reference; and Wood Art Today 2.
Most of this work has been composed of individual units pertaining to the visual symbol of the paint brush. This series includes a “Dadaist” reference by mass producing a ready-made object. Although the shape chosen more closely resembles a house painting brush, the visual connection between the brush and creativity is a genuine one. Each of these groupings contains a minimum of 300 brushes. The significance of the multiple has been emphasized and is a large part of the statement that they are intended to make, with over 7,000 brushes completed.
The first group, Artists’ Brushes, includes brushes mirroring the work of the renowned artists who may have used them. The second direction is the Mixed Media Brush which incorporates the use of various common and not so common materials into a thematic creation. The 100% Natural Bristle brush is the third direction in this series. It showcases the bristle as only Mother Nature could construct them (the bristles are merely split wood). The fourth part of this series is the Brushes with Embedded Objects. This is a continuation of the 100 % Natural Bristle Brushes series. Brushes in this series are carved from a variety of wood types with embedded carved objects, geometric shapes, and found objects. Some of these brushes are covered with a graphite patina. Other parts of this series are Brushes with Objects and Brushes with Brushes. Brushes with Halo Objects are completely surrounded with assorted found objects. This was inspired from my visits to San Antonio and seeing the sculptural representations of “Our Lady of Guadalupe”. Icon Brush Boxes included the carved brush inserted into a box with two open doors simulating the early church icons. The original Brushes - Increased Scale contained 128 brushes that increase 1/8" each time, starting out at ½” and eventually escalating to an 18” brush. The latest series is Brush Grid, which has carved brushes placed on 3 ½” x 4" blocks of wood, incorporating different textural elements and coloration.
I have always been fascinated with tools and how things are made. The shapes are carved out of wood to look like the individual tools and painted with a graphite patina which gives them a metallic-look. The Metamorphic Tools I and II series were influenced by MC Escher, and they were an experiment to see how I could make tools morph from one tool to another. This series also included Stretched Tools, Hammers, and Icon Tool Boxes.
GARY "CRASH" HULL BIO
Gary S. “Crash” Hull was born in Pasadena, CA in 1950. Gary’s family including one older sister and two younger twin sisters lived in a cool rental house on Lido Island in Newport Beach. Their neighbors were movie stars, race car drivers, artists, and surfers. The times were golden, and the vibes rubbed off onto young Hull.
In his teens, Crash and a small group of friends started making fiberglass belly boards in his parent’s garage. Instead of graduating from Corona del Mar High in ’69, he borrowed a paipo board and hitched to Mazatlán Mexico. On his return a month later, he started building steel guitars with Erie Ball Company in Newport Beach. It was one of the best jobs he ever had.
In 2004, the building on Figueroa Street in downtown Los Angeles that house Crash’s small live in art studio for 20 years was torn down, and so his nomadic life began. Moving into his ’71 VW Camper, he embarked on an 8-year stint of van camping, making art, and saving money.
Driving from a model car contest show in Kansas City where he won, to Winston, North Dakota to work in the oil fields, Crash stopped for gas in Yankton and saw a “Welder’s Wanted” sign across the road. He secured a good night shift job and the rest is history.