In promoting good stewardship of the planet, we need dedicated individuals from all walks of life to inspire change; for some people respond best to facts presented by scientists, while others react best to music or movies, magazine articles or the visual arts. I am a sculptor, and I find the best way for me to communicate ideas is through images my hands create.
My work has afforded me the rare privilege of seeking out wild animals in remote locations from Northern Manitoba to the shores of Antarctica, and from the Amazon to the Kalahari Desert. Along the way, I have met with people from all walks of life and hugely different cultures –each with a different relationship to their environment. This extensive and prolonged travel has given me perspective on human cultures and our relationship to the world around us.
Due to myriad causes, the earth’s climate is always in a state of flux –why else would discussing weather be such a universal and favorite topic? Yet changes have accelerated and it seems human beings may well be responsible. There will be consequences; for us and for the other creatures we share this planet with. My sculpture, Climate Change is intended to initiate thought and create dialog. Is the ice in the sculpture melting or is it frozen hard? Is the Polar Bear questing for suitable habitat while stranded atop this ice, or is he simply testing the wind for scent of his favorite food (seals) from a convenient perch in his habitat? I have left it up to the viewer to decide how to interpret this sculpture and what the outcome may be for this bear. My hope is that the viewer will also consider how to interpret the flood of data coming in concerning climate change and what the outcome of the larger picture may be.
Rather than tell people (in any culture) how to think and act, I have chosen to share what inspires me through the creation of art. I hope my empathy for the other creatures we share this planet with is apparent in images I capture with eyes and hands. My fervent wish is to inspire people to look again –with renewed appreciation– and ponder just how amazing these creatures are. Only when people think of the ‘others’ we share the planet with as worthy of deep respect will good stewardship of the planet ensue.
The sculpture featured above by Bart Walter was previously featured on display in the traveling museum exhibition Environmental Impact, which closed at St. Mary’s College on May 1, 2016. A sequel is scheduled for January 5 to May 26, 2019 at the North Carolina Arboretum in Ashville.
Maryland sculptor, Bart Walter began working in clay in the late 1980’s. Now at the beginning of the 21st century, his work can be found in both notable public and private collections worldwide from Ugandan Wildlife Authority Headquarters in Kampala to the R. W. Norton Museum in Shreveport, Louisiana. His recent accomplishments include the recent acquisition of his sculpture group entitled The Troupe by The Hunter Museum of American Art in Chattanooga, Tennessee, a solo exhibition held at The National Museum of Wildlife Art in 2008; and induction as a Fellow into the prestigious Explorer’s Club in New York for his outstanding work documenting wildlife from all over the world through his sculptures and drawings. Mr. Walter has designed the Chairman’s Award for The National Fish and Wildlife Foundation and a Conservation Award for Dr. Jane Goodall and is a Fellow and two time a Silver Medalist with the National Sculpture Society. Bart Walter is primarily known for his unique and dynamic approach to surface. Bart Walter travels extensively to pursue honest interpretations of his subjects.
Sculpting primarily from life and using charcoal sketches as reference, allows this artist to infuse vitality and spontaneity into his work. Bart Walter’s extensive body of work is derived from a personal commitment to the integrity of each subject, human or animal. Bart Walter’s hands-on approach to the casting process, results in sculptures that are faithful to the original work in clay or wax with no element lost.
With this holistic view of how his work is inspired, created and cast, Bart Walter has won the respect and admiration of fine art curators, collectors and the general public. For additional information visit: www.bartwalter.com.
This post is part of the MAHB’s Arts Community space –an open space for MAHB members to share, discuss, and connect with artwork processes and products pushing for change. Please visit the MAHB Arts Community to share and reflect on how art can promote critical changes in behavior and systems and contact Erika with any questions or suggestions you have regarding the new space.
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