Artist Statement and Bio: BK McCallum
Artist and educator, BK McCallum currently teaches all levels of 3-D art and art history at Garden City Community College in Southwest Kansas, where he also serves as director of Mercer Gallery. McCallum’s sculptural work has earned numerous accolades in juried shows for nearly two decades. His art and methods are featured in Lark Publications 500 Figures in Clay and Pottery Making Illustrated. McCallum has an extensive show record and was most recently a featured artist at the Artist Self Portrait invitational at the Birger Sandzen Memorial Gallery in Lindsborg, KS. McCallum leads workshops at colleges and art centers throughout the U.S. Upcoming events include a workshop/ demo at CSU Pueblo in the fall of 2017. As a skilled potter, he splits studio time between functional and sculptural work. Presently, BK McCallum is also working in painting and drawing, developing a series of works in ink, graphite and mixed media that–much like his sculpture–explores connections between sensuality, magic, imagination and the human condition. McCallum is an active writer and blogger. His work can be found at bkmccallumstudios.com. His latest work “COLAB” collaborative work with artists Tara Dean and MK Knutson, was recently featured at the Baker Art Center in Liberal, KS.
About the current series of sculptural work BK McCallum says, “My goal is to connect with the viewer on a level that is sublime, animal, imaginative, sweaty, precious, or childish. These pieces relate abstractly to the human body, and often, they reflect physical forms engaged in fighting, loving, dancing, or simply in states of repose. Often there are female and male dynamics. By definition, artwork like this has no active tradition–yet it’s connected to all art forms that celebrate beauty, movement, color and an awareness of being.” The pottery, by contrast – is perhaps most associated with the Mengei Tradition or folk type Japanese pottery. I focus on speed, gesture, and ergonomics in the form. I glaze with gesture in mind. The brush strokes have a male and female aspects that evoke a kind of sensuality and balance.
“Notes From Utopia” is an ongoing visual poetry piece intended to engage viewers in communication with the art so they may create their own meanings. In this way, the individual viewer shapes the piece and brings to the exhibit an ongoing level of dialog that forms and transforms the work. As viewers participate in social media with their dialog, they become a living part of the conversation.