Building a Decade, an exhibit by Art Professor Brad Bachmeier, is showing at the Rourke Art Museum through Dec. 26.
“Building a Decade”: It is hard to comprehend that this is my tenth year of exhibiting at the Rourke. The title of this show has both literal and symbolic meaning for my creative research and studio production. The complex challenge of trying to develop, execute and assemble a completely new body of related ideas, forms, textures, and finishes annually for 10 years has impacted my life and work in both positive and probably some unhealthy ways.
For the past decade I have focused a lot of passion, time and energy into “building” a tool box full of a wide variety of skills and knowledge in ceramic forming, firing and finishing techniques. I feel successful in this development. I have come to realize that primitive and low-fire ceramic processes fit both my personality as somewhat of a hands-on control freak as well as my ideologies. I feel in tune and appreciative of what the material… clay has done for the development of humankind and I enjoy learning about the history and aesthetics of ceramic production around the world.
As always, the work featured in this exhibit showcases some new techniques and experiments with paper-clay, bundle-firing, rock/ceramic mixed media sculpture and metal patina finishes. During the past year I’ve had the good fortune of being able to collaborate with an anthropologist, a metallurgist and an internationally successful low-fire ceramic expert to develop these new directions.
This past decade has also allowed me to also revisit my love of sculpture. Having now recently finished my 2nd large-scale brick relief sculpture, I think I can now say that I join the ranks of only several dozen people nationally who call themselves brick sculptors. Using this “building” material has given me access to brick clay to investigate physically and conceptually as witnessed in the exhibit.
I would like to personally and sincerely thank both the Rourke Gallery/Museum for the opportunities that they have entrusted me, as well as my family, friends, students, colleagues and patrons who have shown patience with me, and faith in my work, as I have tried to build a worthy decade of ceramic progress.
For 15 years, Brad worked as a public school art instructor, having the opportunity to teach in every grade from K-12 in both North Dakota and Minnesota. At the conclusion of these efforts, (2009) Brad received the prestigious bi-annual ND Governor’s Award in Arts Education for his numerous and continued contributions to the state and region. Brad is now employed as the Professor of Art Education at Minnesota State University Moorhead.
In 2010 Brad was selected and commissioned by the National Governor’s Association to create a piece of work to be given as a gift to First Lady, Michelle Obama at a White House Event. The works now resides in her office.
Brad and his wife Susan were born in central ND in the small town of Anamoose. They both graduated from Minnesota State University Moorhead before embarking on teaching careers. They live in Fargo with their four children: Mackenna, Addison, Clay and Kyler.
Brad’s ceramic work is collected nationally and has been featured on the television shows; HGTVs’ “That’s Clever” as well as “Prairie Mosaic” on Prairie Public. Bachmeier also recently received (2007) the national NICHE award in the wheel-thrown ceramics category as well as the ARTBUZZ 08 International art competition 3rd place award in ceramics. For more information, please check out my newly re-launched website: bachmeierpottery.com