Goddard Art Gallery
Pratt Center, Goddard College
123 Pitkin Rd, Plainfield, VT 05667
Monday – Friday, 9:00 am – 4:00 pm
Coming from Route 214, turn into the Goddard College entrance that reads “Pratt Center”. Take your first left. Parking is to the right, in front of the “Painting” and “Sculpture” buildings. The Pratt Center is at the end of the road.
Material Flows: Rhythm in Collage, Painting, and Sculpture, by Rob Hitzig, Louise Laplante, and Brian Walters, is a group show of collage works and sculptures by the aforementioned artists that visually explores material space as rhythm, disruption, and disorder. How do material flows structure and deconstruct our spatial and sensory experiences?
The show will be on exhibit at the Goddard Art Gallery in the Eliot Pratt Library, from April 20 – June 7, 2018.
Rob Hitzig “Canoe-strip Canvas Series”
My work combines fine craft with fine art in order to highlight the contrast between the utility of craft and the relative “uselessness” of art. The combination is intended to cause the viewer to think about what art does and whether it is important. Hopefully, it also raises questions about the value of art as “merely” visual/mental stimulation verses the value of functional objects. With this series I have constructed curved canvases by milling and assembling canoe strips out of hardwoods. They are also finished with a fine shellac polish that is typically used for fine furniture. I hope the process creates mystery with the viewer about the history of the pieces and whether it had a previous life as a functional object.
My work is informed by a love old paper, letters, books and other ephemera, both as they were intended to be – items to be read, ads to make one buy a product or service, and connections between specific people – and for their innate beauty as bits of pattern, tone, color, line and shape. I use their text as both content and visual device. Each work starts with the assembly of this paper, selected, arranged and collaged to create both a support and pattern. How a drawing develops is suggested by words on the sheets I collage. These words also suggest the motifs I use on the sheet to create an image of the contrast and connection to contemporary life that is evident in that old paper. It is this that fascinates me, the age of these pieces of paper, the lost world they evoke and yet the relevancy of this world to our own.
I’m not much of a planner when it comes to creating my work. The process is much more free-form and organic. However, I am always thinking of new work and constantly sketching out these ideas. I never bring a notebook into the studio, as I feel that in doing so I limit my creative ability. That notebook seems to set strict parameters that stifle my work. Being that I do work in materials that already present their own boundaries, I make every attempt to make the creative process as loose as possible.
While never blunt or in your face, I do attempt to tell a story through my work. The theme often revolves around trades people and industry in America. We’ve gotten so far away from what built this country and I find it very concerning. Blue Collar jobs are so quickly dismissed nowadays. It seems that the mindset of our country’s people is to attend a 4 year college followed by a Masters degree, only to be in debt for the next decade. I attempt to showcase this imbalance in a subtle way. Being a tradesman long before I was an Artist has made me knowledgeable about the inner workings of the trades in this country. Having many friends and family go the other route, it has been quite interesting to see their victories and struggles as well.
I’m always looking to strike up a dialog with others, but being a bit reserved has presented its share of communication issues. I’ve found a good balance with overcoming that shyness through the use of my art. This is something that I plan on pursuing for many years. I feel that good communication and continuing a dialog between people of all backgrounds will only benefit our community — be it with our neighbors or people around the world.