MATT Grover, a California native turned Idahoan, is rapidly emerging in the art of Kinetic sculpture and wood workings. Three years ago he quit his job at World Cycle, the bicycle repair shop where he worked for over a decade, and enrolled in a welding class at Boise State University. Since then, his success in furniture making and kinetic sculpture creation has skyrocketed so much he is being featured in a couple of art shows in the next few weeks.
He will participate in “The 2012 Chair Affair Gala“ on April 21. Sponsored by Interior Designers of Idaho, it provides an opportunity for designers, architects, artists, furniture designers/fabricators and students in the Northwest to display their original designs and to compete on a professional level.
Then, starting on First Thursday, June 7th, and running until the end of the month, Matt’s work will be highlighted in a full sculpture show at the Lisk Gallery in downtown Boise. Mark and Jerri Lisk, owners of Lisk Gallery, were regulars at the bike shop where Matt used to work. So when they heard about his new endeavors, Jerri asked Matt to show her one of his pieces, and fell in love with it on the spot, especially since they’d been thinking about adding three-dimensional pieces to their gallery.
MATT GROVER: AN INTERVIEW WITH THE ARTIST
Q. I have known you for, let me think… about 15 years now. At that time you were pretty involved with bike racing and worked for World Cycle. You never quit cycling, although these days you do it more for pleasure than competition. Several years ago you decided to leave the bike shop and enroll in a welding class at BSU. What made you decide on a career change?
Matt Grover: I have always felt the need to create, to make things with my hands.
Q. When did you start working on making furniture?
I have made various pieces throughout the years, but really made it a focus in the last year.
Q. What type of materials do you prefer to use? Why?
I like to use an equal mix of metal and wood, preferring raw steel and a variety of hardwoods, both exotic and domestic, including recycled wood. The peculiarities of each individual project dictate the type of wood or metal I actually use.
Q. Tell me about your sculptures and kinetic art. What exactly is kinetic art?
I started out creating sculptures as a young boy mostly in wood, and mostly representational. This evolved into sculptures in mostly ebony wood, a very hard, dark wood from Africa that has unfortunately become quite scarce now. After becoming a certified welder three years ago, I began to integrate metal into my artwork and this developed into kinetic sculpture. Kinetic sculpture is any type of sculpture that moves or has moving parts, either by motorized or other means, i.e. wind, solar, or human power.
Q. Where do you get the inspiration for your pieces?
I get my inspiration from the natural world around me. Sometimes the most basic things—like water or natural landscapes—and a lot of times from a particular movement of something (like waves, something blowing in the wind, or an animal flying or swimming).
Q. What type of customers do you usually work with? As a customer, what would you say is special about working with you on a project?
Any of the people I work with want something outside of the cookie-cutter furnishings available today. They want something personalized or to fit a particular setting, mood, or feel. I enjoy the process of working with a customer to develop a design that reflects their personal ideas and preferences integrated with my own style. Through the use of CAD (Computer Aided Drafting), I provide the customer with a 3-D view of a piece that can be changed and altered as many times as needed before I build the actual piece, thus ensuring a product the customer will be very happy with. The interaction with the customer is what ultimately makes each piece unique and special.
Q. I hear your work will be showcased in a couple of Boise art shows over the next few weeks, at “The Chair Affair” on April 21, and then a full sculpture show at the Lisk Gallery in downtown Boise, starting on First Thursday (June 7th) and running through the whole month. Why do you feel your work has brought that much public attention in just a short time?
I think my work has attracted the attention that it has because it is so unique and different compared to what is currently being shown in the art and furniture world. I plan to continue developing my ideas and hope to continue getting the opportunities to showcase them.
Q. How can customers get a hold of you?
Here is a link to my website with all my contact information: Matt Grover Design in Wood and Metal.
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