Get to know the artists of this year’s Arts Festival
Editor’s note: This is the second in a series of weekly mini-features on artists who will be at the Perham Center for the Arts for this year’s Arts Festival, part of the 2014 Turtle Fest events. We will be featuring one artist per week, every week leading up to the festival.
Brad Wegscheid is a Wadena-based artist who likes to dabble in many things, but most often focuses on illustration, wood, ceramic sculpture and tile. The body of his work is raku fired ceramics.
Wegscheid has more than 10 years of experience as a commercial artist in the Midwest, but in recent years has been concentrating on his own original fine art.
His work has been seen around the region in recent exhibits, including a juried show in Fergus Falls and a display at the Cultural Center gallery in New York Mills. He also created a 4x5’ ceramic mural for Tri-County Hospital in Wadena.
Wegscheid will be exhibiting some of his raku pottery at the Perham Area Public Library June 17-30.
At the Arts Festival, he will be giving raku firing demonstrations with ceramics.
1) Where did you grow up and go
I went to high school at the Perpich Center for Arts Education in Golden Valley, Minn. I graduated from Northern Michigan University with a bachelor of fine arts degree in graphic communication.
2) How and when did you get into
I have always done art, played with things, taken things apart and in general been a creative sort. I went to the arts high school to explore art further and be in a creative and art supportive environment. ...(In college I) quickly decided on graphic design because it seemed like a more employable option. I did graphic design for well over a decade, working in traditional print including magazine, advertising, billboards, point of purchase displays, packaging design and more.
A few years ago, with the birth of our daughter, my wife and I decided I should stay at home and care for her and focus more on my fine art. So for the last few years, I have been working on fine turning my ceramic work so that hopefully next summer I can start doing some of the larger art fairs. I have also done some illustration during this time.
3) What do you make?
I try and focus on ceramics but also do some wood working and illustration. I try and avoid doing pottery at all costs because that is the first thing the general population thinks of when they think of a ceramic artist, and I have no desire to just be another potter. My ceramic work is all sculptural, split between three dimensional and sculpted tile work.
My woodworking is mostly rustic – I like working with salvaged wood like barn wood and natural logs and limbs. I have a fondness for texture and things visually interesting.
4) What does your artistic process
usually look like?
I like texture, age, and shape. I create work that is fun for me so that I get wrapped up in the process and thus make what I feel is better work. Focusing only on work that will sell is not nearly as rewarding and often becomes stale.
My creative process is messy. I work on several things at once, scattering messes and tools in every direction. I will often try things I know will not work just to see what happens, and this often opens new possibilities and ideas.
In 2012, I was featured on the show Common Ground on Lakeland Public TV making a mural I did for Tri-County Hospital in Wadena; this shows my process very well (you can watch the video by searching Brad’s name on YouTube).
5) Where might we have seen your
work on display?
Currently my raku ceramic work is on display in New York Mills at the Cultural Center until the middle of June. In June this same work will be in the Perham library. At the end of July until the end of August, my raku work will be at the Kaddatz Gallery in Fergus Falls.
I post regularly on my new work, as well as the process as I create, on my public Facebook page, facebook.com/artbybrad.
Prints and clothing of my illustration can be seen and purchased at artbybrad.redbubble.com. I also have a small gallery of my work at mnartists.org/Brad_Wegscheid.