Part of Saginaw Valley State University, the Arbury Fine Arts Center houses the Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum. The current exhibition, Tom Phardel and Sharon Que, A Three Dimensional Perspective, opened February 4 and runs until May 26, 2012.
Tom Phardel continues a 35-year career of creating, exhibiting, and teaching contemporary sculpture, using clay as his primary medium of expression. Phardel exhibits at some of Michigan’s finest visual arts museums and galleries, including The Detroit Institute of Arts, which holds his work in the permanent collection. A recent one-man exhibition at Detroit’s Pewabic Pottery drew rave reviews. Phardel’s work investigates large scale and dramatic architectural expressions. Phardel has taught and chaired the Ceramics Department at Detroit’s College for Creative Studies since 1988.
His artist statement reads:
“My sculpture has always been inspired from my immediate environment. My primary interest lies in the physical processes of making sculpture and the transformation that takes place both visually as well as psychologically when disparate materials are placed together. Through this piece I hope to evoke ephemeral and emotional qualities of the human condition, the yearning to understand the unknown. I want to make work that you want to be with as well as look at.”
Sharon Que works in wood, not only as a sculptor but also as a violin and viola maker/restorer. Her sculpture integrally links to her passion for music and the objects that create transcendent musical expression. The significant relationship between Que’s violin work and her sculpture informs both practices. Like Phardel, Que exhibits prolifically in galleries and museums in Michigan, as well as in Chicago and San Francisco. Newspapers and magazines, including the Chicago Sun-Times, Sculpture Magazine, New Art Examiner, and www.artscope.net reviewed Que’s work. The collection of contemporary art at The Detroit Institute of Arts and the public sculpture collection at Oakland University hold her work.
Sharon Que’s writes about her approach to visual art and its relationship to the viewer:
“I think about the distance that is traveled from observing an image, to that image becoming an integration of the thinking and actions of our real life. Many of my sculptures I describe as a machine that transforms something. Like the multiple states that water can have, not all is visible. Growth and movement are implied, while I try to keep opposites in equilibrium. What I am aiming for doesn’t have a sound or image. It is a silent illumination.”
Marshall M. Fredericks Sculpture Museum
7400 Bay Road University Center
The Museum is open Monday thru Saturday from 12:00 noon until 5:00 P.M. The Museum is closed University and major US holidays.
Ron Scott is a pseudonym for a writer based in the Detroit area. View more articles by Ron Scott.