James Knittle is part of Exposed 2011. He lives in Johnson, Vermont.
Traveler is a form that has been alive in my sketches for some time. For whatever reason, it was always passed over as I decided to create a different form. Interestingly, this form was always there in my thoughts, influencing the work that was made as a result of not creating this piece.
The nature of the Exposed exhibition allows an artist the option to propose an idea for a sculpture in place of submitting a finished work. Perhaps this idea of setting out into the unknown presented an opportunity for me to explore the form that has influenced the other objects that I have created. I set out to create Traveler in sheet metal, and it quickly became clear that fabricating directly in metal would be an almost impossible task unless I used a tremendous amount of smaller parts welded together. There was something about this shape that asked not to be dissected into so many parts in an effort to create the whole.
As I set out to carve this strictly symmetrical piece from wood, the results were unknown. Throughout the carving process I have learned about the shape that has filled my sketches. The result is both a finished piece as well as a “pattern” for casting this piece in metal when the opportunity arises. When the metal clone is created I intend to keep the asymmetries of Traveler alive in the new piece.
James Knittle views the creation of sculpture as a contemplative process – a process that visualizes the unique experience that occurs during the making of an object. For the artist, this process flows in and out of the familiar and the unknown, with the focus of creating objects that maintain a living presence while still being part of the conversation and tradition of the object making that is sculpture. A practice he views as in danger of being forgotten. James earned his BFA in 1999 from Alfred University in New York State. His work can be found in public and private collections across the United States. He has been a resident artist at Sculpture Space in Utica, New York, completed commissions for private collectors, and has shared his approach to metalworking and sculpture as an instructor at the Evanston Art Center near Chicago, Illinois.
For the past twenty years, the Helen Day Art Center has hosted an outdoor public art and sculpture exhibition called Exposed in Stowe, Vermont. Exposed hosts sculptures, site-specific installations, and participatory work from twenty-three national and international artists. the 2011 edition offers a series of Thursday night events by 12 video artists, writers, performers, and musicians accompany the exhibit. This exhibition and series of events is accompanied by cell phone audio tours, QR codes, walking tour maps, walkabouts, and a catalogue of the exhibit published by Kasini House Books. The exhibition will take place July 8th to October 8th, 2011.