In Focus: Works of Stone Artist Gordon Van Wert on Display at BSU
Bemidji State University recently welcomed internationally acclaimed stone artist Gordon Van Wert and a collection of his stone sculptures to their Talley Gallery, held on campus in Bridgeman Hall.
The exhibit, titled “Legends in Stone,” features carved representations of Anishinaabe stories and traditions using stone and marble. Some sculpture titles include: remembering springtime, thunderbird, generations, and morning glory.
Van Wert grew up in Red Lake but moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico to attend The Institute of American Indian Arts. After completing his undergraduate degree, he enlisted in the Army. Van Wert shared that when he got out of the Army, he didn’t know what he was going to do, but got inspiration from another sculptor and veteran.
Van Wert has had his art displayed around the world, but unfortunately, he’s never been able to attend the shows that display them. Van Wert says that most of his sculptures are made out of limestone, marble, and alabaster. All of his outdoor pieces are made of limestone and marble, as those are the ones that can handle weather. The sculptures made of alabaster are the ones he stores inside.
If there is one thing that Van Wert can leave with students and viewers, it’s that no matter how down you get, if you can do something that you make with your hands, whether it be clay, bead work, or anything: if you can do that and it make you happy, that is what’s going to add to your life.
The exhibit runs until December 3rd.