"The portraits I create are of people I know. The sculptures are constructed out of reclaimed wood and pigmented wood glue. When I am working on a piece, a dialog naturally develops between the sculpture’s form and its complex patterned surface. I become interested in finding balance between these two realms. As the sculpting process unfolds, I focus on synthesizing the numerous visual complexities of a piece in accordance with a feeling that exists within myself. My intent is to imbue the portrait with a fully realized and personal human presence.
I create many drawings in connection with each of my sculptures. These drawings are developed in tandem with the sculptural process. Each drawing has a different purpose and is connected to a specific stage of the sculpture's construction. Initially the drawings take the form of sketches and straight portraits. At this stage issues of likeness, proportion and mood are most important. As the sculpture making process unfolds, the drawings inform ideas connected directly to the 3-dimensional piece such as pattern, form, scale, and concept.
My father was Lebanese Maronite. Throughout my life I’ve been exposed to many aspects of his background, the most influential being two inlaid Middle Eastern backgammon tables that were in my childhood home in Chicago. These tables were a constant source of fascination for me. When I began making wood sculpture twenty years ago, I found I was compelled by the unconscious desire to adhere wood mosaic-like pieces over the sculpture’s surface. I later came to realize that my inclination toward this process was a result of constantly visually absorbing my father’s Middle Eastern tables. I consider every sculpture I make to be a personal expression that honors the memory of my father and his life." - Michael Ferris Jr.
Michael Ferris is represented by Packer Schopf Gallery, Chicago, IL and George Adams Gallery, NYC. He recently received the Saltonstall Residency, Ithaca, NY and is included in numerous publications including a recent New York Times review by Susan Hodara. Ferris exhibits nationally and in 2014 was included in Bronx Speaks: No Boundaries at The Bronx Museum, Bronx, NY. He received his MFA from Indiana University in 1996. Michael Ferris Jr. lives and works in Bronx, NY.
Cortney Boyd is glass artist and Visiting Assistant Professor at SIU. She draws inspiration for her work from the implements of a past generation and the items created for everyday as well as special occasions. She uses glass as the primary material in her artworks due to the inherent fragility and translucency of glass and her desire to reveal fleeting and delicate memories. The Glass Art Society recognized Cortney Boyd as an Emerging Artist in 2010 and her work was selected for publication in New Glass Review 32, as well as in Bullseye Glass Company’s Emerge 2012.
Tuesday evening: 7-9pm
Saturday & Sunday: 1-4pm
ALL EVENTS ARE FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Ames School of Art
Illinois Wesleyan University
6 Ames Plaza West
Bloomington, Illinois 61701