ADVERTISEMENT

ADVERTISEMENT

Truman Lowe to create sculpture at Tweed

One of the leading figures in contemporary art will come to the Tweed Museum of Art next week and create a sculptural installation with the help of artists, students and volunteers from the community.

One of the leading figures in contemporary art will come to the Tweed Museum of Art next week and create a sculptural installation with the help of artists, students and volunteers from the community.
Truman Lowe, a member of the Ho-Chunk nation and a professor of art at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, is well known for his wood sculptures that look to natural and abstract forms for their inspiration. He also is inspired by his Ho-Chunk heritage, said Martin DeWitt, director of the Tweed.
Currently serving as the curator for the Smithsonian's new Museum of the American Indian in Washington, D.C., Lowe recently agreed to come to Duluth to create a special installation at the Tweed.
"I've always liked that part of the country," Lowe said in a telephone interview last week. "And secondly, I think the other major attraction is, it's George Morrison country."
Lowe said he first encountered Morrison's work more than 25 years ago when he was an art student at UW-Madison.
"I was drawn to his work immediately, in particular the wall reliefs," Lowe said. "I followed his career, and of course he was always enthusiastic about every Native American art student, so we had a kind of lifelong relationship. It wasn't like an every day or every week kind of thing, but I just sort of made sure I was aware of what he was up to."
Now, as curator of contemporary art for the Smithsonian's new National Museum of the American Indian, Lowe has an opportunity to say "thank you" to Morrison for his inspiration. Lowe is curating the first exhibit for the soon-to-built museum, and it will feature a retrospective of Morrison's works.
"He's really a role model for several generations of contemporary artists," Lowe said. "And I have an opportunity in a real sense to pay respects to the man whose work I've admired."
Lowe himself has a strong influence in the art world, DeWitt said.
"He's one of the leading contemporary installation artists in the country," DeWitt said. "He's been on our list as a potential visiting artist for quite a while, at least four years. Now it has finally worked out to where it is going to fit in his schedule."
Lowe will be at the museum March 6 through March 9 working with students and the community on his installation in the Tweed's Sax Gallery. In this installation, Lowe said he wants to focus on water, one of his favorite subjects.
{IMG2}
He grew up in a traditional Ho-Chunk community in Black River Falls, Wis. "I think it was a major influence -- the whole idea of moving water," he said.
Part of the reason he agreed to come to the Tweed is because of the beauty of the Northland and its wide variety of lakes, streams and waterfalls, he said.
"My real interest is water, particularly flowing water," he said. "I've always liked the falls along the North Shore. In a sense, they really feed the lake. In the installation, I'm interested in creating some motion of a cascade or falls, a way of working with material, both natural and synthetic."
Creating an installation on site is not new for this talented sculptor, who has been brought to a number of different art institutes and museums to create work with students and members of the community.
There are many aspects of the project, he said. Not only will he create, he will also teach.
"The way I envision it, it's an opportunity for students and others to get a sense of how artists work and think," Lowe said. "They'll see that it's OK coming up with an idea, but the real work is putting it together and making it work."
DeWitt and Peter Spooner, curator at the Tweed, already have a list of natural materials they will be gathering in the Northland before Lowe arrives.
They also urge students, artists and members of the community to pencil in the installation on their to-do list for next week. Spooner said people should come in the afternoons from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. March 6-9.
"People don't have to feel obligated to handle the materials," Spooner said. "They certainly could come and meet him and just observe the process."
It's also an incredible opportunity to watch an important American artist at work, DeWitt said.
Lowe joked that people who bring a recipe for a American Indian dish would be particularly welcome.
The Tweed plans to document the process as well, including creating a video and printed brochure.
For more information, call 726-8222.
NEWS TO USE
Contemporary sculptor Truman Lowe will create an installation at the Sax Gallery at the Tweed Museum of Art on March 6 through 9.
Students, artists and members of the community are invited to join him from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. next Tuesday through Friday. For more information, call 726-8222.

What To Read Next
The system crashed earlier this month, grounding flights across the U.S.