JOËL URRUTY (born 1968)

Between September 19, 2015 and February 28, 2016, HMA welcomes back Hickory artist Joël Urruty in an exhibition that combines two very different bodies of work that pair together harmoniously.

In the Gold series the three-dimensional works of wood have been gilded in 23K gold leaf. The luminescent quality of the gold allows light and shadow to play off the subtle shifting facets of these carved sculptures.  (Example: Colomba.)

The Wall Hangings are two-dimensional wood assemblages, designed and constructed from salvaged pallets discarded from nearby factories. The wood is cut and burned, then woven in unique ways to create minimalist, one-of-a-kind pieces rich in texture and character. (Example: Detail of Sleeping with the Lions.)

Moto.  Wood and mixed media.

Moto. Wood and mixed media.

Urruty won Best of Show in the Museum’s 2013 Road Trip: A Juried Exhibition, in conjunction with HMA's First AutoLawn Party in 2013. He exulted on Facebook on September 26, 2013, "woohoo! this is a dining table (minus the glass top) I made 20 years ago as a young apprentice. Finally pulled it out of my parent's garage and it wins best in show." The piece reflects his continuing fascination with motorcycles.

Urruty was born in San Francisco, CA in 1968, the son of Basque immigrants. He earned a Bachelor of Science in Industrial Technology at San Francisco State University. He apprenticed as a furniture maker under David J. Marks, Master Craftsman, and later went on to earn a Masters of Fine Art in Woodworking and Furniture Design from the School of American Crafts at Rochester Institute of Technology. His work has been shown in Japan as well as galleries and museums throughout the United States, including twice before at HMA, in 2010 and 2013. His work has also been widely published in magazines and books.

Urruty talks about himself and his work in this seven minute 2015 YouTube video created by Dan Hasegawa. "People always ask me what happens when you make a mistake? Well, you make a mistake all the time, you just have to learn how to deal with it and use it as an opportunity."

Here is Urruty's web site.

Post by Karin Borei, HMA Project Coordinator, writer and editor as needed, and HMA blogger since our blog's inception in March 2015.