Artist Marty Bolte

I have always been a creator. Projects tended to be focused on function, not form, and my creative outlets were limited to whatever flat surface and writing tool was available. Eventually, the two collided, and I began exploring sculpture through a variety of media, finally landing on welded steel. With the right tools, steel can be flexible and changeable like my paper and pencil drawings.

During this growth process, a memory kept going back to a trip to a history museum with my parents as a young adolescent. There, I saw a collection of American Indian masks and artifacts. I was aware that the objects had great meaning for the people who made them, but even though I didn’t understand the depth of their meaning at the time, their powerful visual presence resonated with me long after. At a museum trip later in life, I saw African ceremonial objects and had the same distinct feeling. These objects held purpose and significance for the maker, but the casual observer still got to experience the beauty and workmanship of the objects as art.

The substance of my work is very important to me, but I want those who view my work to be free to observe a beautiful object as I was able to do as a kid in a museum years ago. 

I still spend a lot of time in museums with my wife finding unique inspiration and allure from the art all around me. And I still sketch and draw on flat surfaces when a new idea flashes in my head (just check my front shirt pocket and you’ll find a stack of 3x5 index cards and a couple of pens ready to go). For over 30 years, I’ve been making, creating, and evolving as an artist and I can’t imagine ever stopping.