The art of success; Perham man is performing well on the national art scene
"Artists in this day and age use skills very widely, instead of focusing on one thing," artist Andrew Vomhof explained in a recent interview.
Vomhof has a degree in sculpture, but relies on many forms of artwork in order to make a living. While he is sometimes commissioned for sculpture projects, he also dabbles in star charts and aerial maps. He makes products that are both useful and add design elements into homes. He also uses his skills to design prototypes to solve specific problems for businesses, and works with artists from around the world.
He does all this from his home right here in Perham.
Some of his most popular projects are drawings made using a computer-driven machine called a computer numerical control, or CNC, machine.
Vomhof designed an "apparatus to be used in conjunction with a CNC machine." It holds a pen that draws the designs he inputs into the software program. The drawings relate to both natural science and cosmology, Vomhof said.
He designed these drawings while he was in college and was looking for a more "subtle use for CNC," instead of cutting out product or sculpting.
"Using CAD software, I map out natural phenomena in the chaotic arrangement of the universe and the topography of the Earth, creating visual representations that connect the formation of the universe to the growth of cells and cell structures," he said.
He makes circle star charts ranging in size from 15 square inches to 45 square inches. He also sketches low resolution aerial maps.
His CNC drawings have been a big hit at art sales nationwide. Last year, at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design's sale, Vomhof was one of the highest sellers.
Besides the CNC drawings, Vomhof tackles big sculpture projects - like his recent 800-pound sailboat, a Trash Sculpture he designed and created that was displayed at the Minnesota State Fair. Sponsored by the Department of Natural Resources, this sculpture is built completely out of trash collected from the Mississippi and Minnesota rivers.
As yet another way to expand on the arts, Vomhof and his business partner, friend from high school Karl Zinsmaster of St. Paul, are starting a new online design collective business called WAAM Industries.
WAAM is an acronym for We Are Always Moving, which defines their design practice. WAAM turns everyday objects like a large sea shell, and with a few added elements, changes the shell into an amplifier for a cell phone. They also take common objects like cinder blocks and plastic crates and make wooden versions. They change everyday items to make them useful yet artistic elements for the home.
The next art show Vomhof will take part in will be held at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design on Nov. 15-17, which highlights the work of current students and recent graduates.
"The sale is known nationwide because it's a great place to buy emerging art," Vomhof said.
Vomhof graduated from high school in Ironwood, Mich., and then attended college in Minneapolis. During that time, his parents, Lowell and Lora Vomhof, moved to Perham. After graduating from the Minneapolis College of Art and Design in 2010, Vomhof moved to New York City to work in a gallery. While there, he met many artists and learned the logistics behind art. In March, he moved to Perham to continue to build his career.
For more information, visit Vomhof's website at www.andrewvomhof.com.