48 x 14 x 3"
Land, Sea, Air
Squares 48 x 49 x 12"
41 x 12 x 12"
Visions 24 1/2 x 26 x 16"
14 x 16 x 3 1/2"
there is broad variation in the pieces she shows me, much of it
is cool, geometric, and best of all, misleadingly referential; the
viewer is reassured at first by the seemingly familiar forms only
to be surprised by the unexpected angles and juxtapositions, the
mix of glass, steel and concrete put to non-monolithic purposes.
Although the simplicity of the individual pieces has a minimalist
quality, the effect is richly evocative, stirring visions of places
forgotten or not yet visited.
each of the materials has its own individual process, and throws
off dust that the others must be protected from, the studio is amazingly
clean and orderly, filled with a broad range of equipment. The section
where we are currently standing, for instance, contains a sand blaster,
kiln, tile saw, welding table, grinding wheels, a lap wheel with
finishing disks and Kato’s latest acquisition, a small band
saw. There is also an overhead arrangement of plastic tubing-cum-plumbing,
because glass cutting must always have a water feed.
and I work here 6 days a week 7:30-12:30. The daily repetition of
coming in here to start is very important. Coming to our studio
daily is very important for the continuity of our work. When we
go home, we do office work and we’re done. We explore the
city and make use of the theatre, concerts, galleries. Blue Spiral
has become our home away from home.
It sounds almost idyllic, but I live here too and I know it wears
thin. “What do you do for inspiration?”
catches me really off guard by naming my own husband as a source.
“Robert Winkler, the way his works flow up…getting that
movement in the concrete and glass.
exploration—exploration is very important.” She guides
me, grinning, into the gallery part of the studio, points out forms
that were clearly influenced by trips to Mexico, Bali, a recent
visit to South Africa. “But a lot of what we do, even the
move to concrete, glass and steel, is related to moving into this
studio three years ago, being surrounded by wonderful materials.
about your early influences?” I ask politely.
no surprise when she mentions Magdelena Abakanowicz, Ursala Von
Rydingsvard, Louise Bourgeois. When I ask whether her parents were
artistic, I discover I’ve caught the artist in a contemplative
just finished reading Originals, American Women Artists; Conversations
with Women Artists from the 1930s to the Present. It made me think
about ‘where did I begin?’ I grew up in Queens. The
first thing I recall was reading. I was an avid reader when I was
still too young to get a library card. When I started school, my
big discovery was Mrs. Purcell who taught the handicapped kids.
She would let the rest of us make plaster casts once a week. I loved
it so much I wished I could do it all the time. Later, I went to
the New York High School of Music and Art. I remember my daily routine,
meeting a group at Queens Plaza, climbing a mountain of steps, wearing
green and blue stockings and dressing the way art students dressed.
There’s a quality of that I see in downtown Asheville, a discontent
with traditional fashion.
started a sculpture group here in Asheville two years ago; Mountain
Sculptors. I wanted to base it on the women’s sculpture group
I started when we lived in New Hampshire. It’s been meeting
for more than 10 years now. There’s a sense of commitment
to ongoing communication, to taking responsibility—very professional,
very intentional, very high standards. In Asheville, the focus seems
to be on having shows and selling.”
brings me to my favorite soap box, but this time I don’t interrupt—she
doesn’t need any prompting.
no denying it's wonderful to sell a piece, but selling is not my
goal as an artist; rather it is confirmation of my work. I make
my pieces because I need to, or want to, and I work on a piece until
I feel its finished. It’s not unusual for me to go back to
a piece to redo it until I feel like it’s finished. The vision
comes when it comes and then I’m able to express it in my
sculpture. I know internally if it looks and feels real and I work
to produce it.”
you wish that your efforts were supported by the community?"
a two way street. I think it would help immensely if the city did
more to make art visible. One of the things that’s been happening
is that art has changed. You no longer have the continuous narrative
we once had in painting and sculpture. Artists are going outside
now to show their work. Look how many people went to the Gates in
Central Park…thousands, and not all of them were art afficianados.
It takes being visible to attract that kind of attention. It’s
good for the arts and it’s good for the community. That’s
what we need here, an area for the community to have exposure to
these artists and their works.
the other side of that two way street?” I ask.
outgoing head of Tri State Sculptors hit it right on the head in
his last letter to the members, ‘What have you done this week
that brings people in the community into what you’re doing?’
It’s good for us to explain our work, it adds to our own experience
to be able to take people ‘there’ and help them understand
you listening, Asheville?
work of Kato and Fred Guggenheim is currently on display at:
Center for Creativity and Design
The Greensboro Public Art Project
C.T. Morgan Gallery, West Jeffersonville
Gallery, Landrum SC
Center for Craft, Creativity and Design, Hendersonville, NC
Eleven Eleven Gallery, Washington DC
Two Feet Under, Vadim Bora Gallery, Asheville NC
Married To Their Art, Upstairs Gallery, Tryon NC
Blue Spiral Gallery, Asheville NC
CULTIVATING A LIVING TREASURE The North Carolina Arboretum, Asheville
a freelance financial writer, specializing in institutional finance.
Her articles are published in financial trade journals all over
the world. But don’t bother to GOOGLE her—they’re
all credited to the executives who employ her. A former ad agency
president and enthusiastic participant of life on the New York fast
track, she moved to Asheville in 2002 with her sculptor husband,
Robert Winkler. A mother of three, a grandmother of four, and the
author of three screenplays, she is dealing with her culture shock
by writing a North/South novel under her own name.
WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA WOMAN
is a publication of INFINITE CIRCLES, INC.
BOX 1332 MARS HILL NC 28754 828-689-2988
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Celebrating the Spirit of Place in Western North Carolina