Artist: Michael VanOverbeck
Exhibition: BFA Thesis Exhibition
Media: Wood, varnish
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Dutzi Gallery
Michael VanOverbeck is going to be a spring 2016 graduate and is currently completing his BFA. He used to study at other colleges but found his calling at CSULB for woodworking. He used to be interested in animation but found wood to be more fun, he still does animation and combines it with his work. Michael loves to go fishing, hunting, crafting, anything that involves the outdoors. When I asked him why he chose to do woodworking he explained to me that it gave him great pride to be able to make furniture for himself and people he knows. It keeps him busy and cost effective.
Michael’s work involved two beautiful rocking chairs, a wooden bowl, and a wooden dresser. The different types of wood he used were carob, maple, walnut, bloodwood, Paduak, mohagany, cherry, pau Amarillo Purple Heart, and utile. The cost of the wood in total was around 800$ and took him many hours to complete. His work is smooth and gentle with the wood blending together nicely. The shape of his art was round and soft with no blunt edges. His work look calm and textured with all the different colors and types of wood mixing to make the furniture. The rocking chairs that he made we carved to fit different types of people, with the arm rests being wider and the back support being more flexible and bendy.
Michael said his inspiration for his work was he wanted to be able to provide for himself and make beautiful furniture. He was also inspired by the craft movement of the 20th century and other woodworkers such as Sam Maloof and David Ellsworth. He primarily wanted his work to be comfortable and aesthetically pleasing. He made each chair different and unique to be able to fit all types of people for comfort and style. For the bowl he wanted it to be original and unique, when looking inside of the bowl you can see it is cracked but when I asked him why he chose to leave the crack he said it was because its beautiful and the crack added the value. Why should you change something based on the way it looks.
For me his art work poured comfort and style. With each chair being made to fit every individual it gave me a sense of pleasure knowing I would be comfy if I say in it. I enjoyed the colorful rocking chair the most with all the texture and different colors of wood blending into one, it was so vibrant and full of life. Any home would look amazing with the colored rocking chair because even in the gallery with its white walls, the chair stood out and shined the most.