Local artist sees future in sculpting
January 1, 2017
Driven by a desire to understand how things work, local artist Logan Peterson employs dedication and creativity to transform his vision into sculptures.
"I always had a desire for the arts, like drawing, but none of it really clicked. Metal did," the Gardnerville resident said. "I just never thought it would flourish."
The young artist is realizing a longtime dream — his metal art will be showcased Jan. 13- March 26 at the Arizona Fine Art Expo. The expo is held annually from January through March in Scottsdale, Ariz. and features more than 100 artists who are admitted through an application process.
Having his artwork showcased is something he's only dreamed of, the 22-year-old said.
Peterson's interest in metal art began in grammar school. His technique developed during high school where teachers, family and his parents encouraged his creativity.
"Mr. Haytt (Douglas High school welding teacher) was definitely someone of influence and still is. I often confide in him for advice and critiques on my work," said Peterson.
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Peterson sculpts re-purposed metals into pieces like his Blue Koi, a 6-foot wide by 6-foot high replica of a blue koi fish. It is bolted with oscillate joints to create movement like a live fish.
"I like movement," said Peterson. "I like creating fluency and movement in metal."
The piece received the Scholastic Art & Writing Award of 2012 and took two gold and two silver awards during an art show his senior year of high school.
With a degree in mechanical engineering, Peterson's art continues to develop in complexity and depth. He describes his sculpture style as mid-century futuristic Victorian. Implementing a balance of mechanical fluidity and grace, he is able to coax the ridged medium, transforming it into his creative concepts.
"I like taking stuff apart and seeing how it works," he said. "I like to incorporate that into my work too by putting things back together in a unique manner."
He said he also uses grandfather clocks, lights and whatever metals he can get his hands on for his creations.
Peterson said there are often messages hidden in his designs. The messages frequently come to him in the wee hours of the night.
"I have a sketchbook by my bed because ideas often come to me when I'm sleeping and I have to sketch it out so I can go back to sleep," he said. "It will keep me up if I don't as I think about every detail."
One sculpture with a message is "Escape," a 7-foot-tall and nearly 4-foot wide angel secured by chains that turns on a ball bearing. The angel speaks to the portrayal of man's potential, Peterson said.
"It portrays that we all have the potential of being an angel, to take flight," he explained. "It's often the chains of the everyday that drag us down. It's a matter of breaking through that to get through life and to take flight."
Peterson said he has many supporters throughout the community, including Kevin Murray of Carson Valley Transmissions who provides him with metal and Dr. Jason Acevedo, a Minden dentist who displays Peterson's work in his office.
"It's amazing how much support I have gotten," said Peterson. "My family has been there too — specifically my parents, grandparents (the Greys), and aunts and uncles of the Hutchings and the Robersons."
Peterson's work has also been displayed at Charlie B. Gallery in Carson City. Charlie A. Blim Jr. is an artist advocate and performs many functions for artists at little or no cost.
"Charlie B. has been super influential in the art aspect," said Peterson. "He liked my work and allowed me to display some in his gallery and has been very supportive of my art. If not for him, I would not be where I am today."
Peterson also cited Fallon Photographer Dennis Doyle as critical to his success.
"He thought I had great potential and has helped me get my art out there," said Peterson. "He's provided wisdom, critiques and has been very influential."
Doyle helped Peterson launch his first art show, held at the Carson Mall in November.
"Ever since then everything has just fallen into place and is happening fast," said Peterson. "People are beginning to talk about my work and are creating an interest."
Doyle encouraged Peterson to take his art even further and participate in the Arizona Fine Art Expo.
Peterson said sharing the joy of his metal work with others deepens its meaning and purpose. The greatest reward for Peterson is when a finished piece finds its way to a new home.
"It's opened the door to so many possibilities and potential," said Peterson. "My passion is growing into a career instead of just an interest and everything that has happened and everyone who has supported me has provided that opportunity."