Competition Class VI 2013-2015

Glenn Zweygardt

Finding ones place in a relationship with nature is the theme of my sculpture. While working with materials such as metal and stone, a relationship between nature and myself is formed. Further, I want to tell stories and comment on my collective life experience and my perception of a collective consciousness? Hopefully, these ideas and expressions will enter into human consciousness and the fourth dimension.
— Glenn Zweygardt

The works of Glenn Zweygardt are simultaneously ancient and contemporary. With his use of diverse materials - cast bronze, glass, iron, marble, stainless steel, stone and granite - he creates complex media sculptures that exemplify a master of the three dimensional form.

Zweygardt possesses an uncanny ability to fuse dissimilar elements and concepts, natural occurring and fabricated forms, into structures that command the attention if the observer. This interaction of artist, nature and technology has a unifying affect on the observer's imagery and psyche.

Duplication and relationship is a recurring theme found throughout Zweygardt's work. A carefully chosen stone, cast and duplicated in bronze, aluminum or steel becomes the basis of definite architectural themes that manifest in a range of sizes.

Zweygardt's mastery of the building process along with his ability to create enormous works of art from materials of tremendous mass has gained him international recognition and membership to the Berman Group, a cooperative of sculptors whose collective work spans virtually the entire spectrum of possibilities of "traditional" modernist sculpture.

Kansas born, Zweygardt earned the BFA degree from Wichita State in 1967. He received the MFA from the Maryland Institute of Art in 1969 and is an emeritus Professor of Sculpture at the New York State College of Ceramics at Alfred University. Zweygardt works independently in his immense workshop in Alfred Station, New York. Here his work continues to evolve-varied shapes and rich surfaces, transparent and dense forms, concept and technical relationships, personal and collective perceptions-into fine art of eminent legacy.

John Ellis


Over the course of the last ten years I have searched for what the making of my art means to me. To reach a conclusion seems to be just ahead of or slightly beyond my understanding. It is very much a journey unto itself, requiring one to evolve and question one's thinking on a regular basis. This is primarily due to the evolution and development of skills and of ideas. The following paragraphs consist of what I know about myself and my work at this point in my career.
My work is a blending of my interest coupled with my skill as a craftsman. My interest in art stems from a variety of different styles and periods. My work is influenced by an interest in four specific areas. I love the simplicity of Shaker furniture as well as the lines and grids found in their designs. I am also influenced by Japanese architecture and furniture design. These simple factors are coupled with a high degree of interest in abstract expressionism seasoned with a dash of minimalism. 
As a sculptor I can find no way to separate art from labor. Visions, concepts, and ideas are only realized through labor and the desire to complete them. It strikes me as odd that art is held in esteem and labor is given a separate weight, for without labor, art cannot exist.
 My objective in the making of my work is to create something which contains the things I seek in my own life:  
simplicity, balance, and beauty.


My life's journey began in a small town in southeast Missouri in 1956. I come from a long line of talented people who in one way or another were always making something. My great-grandfather was a successful businessman and one of the finest builders of practical things I have ever encountered. There are numerous ladders, tables, and various other items still in service in my father's machine shop today. I believe watching him as a youngster nourished my interest in making things.

 Education and learning can take place in any number of ways. The most effective way for me has been through self-study and by working with mentors. As I have grown older my interest and my curiosity have grown in many different directions.

 Throughout my life my family, close friends and my various mentors have all encouraged me to drink deeply from the stream of life. Friendships and personal connections on a deep level are the sustenance of life for me. I am extremely fortunate to be married to my best friend who has helped me find my way to this point in my life. Her love and friendship as well as her understanding of psychology have been the ground from which my work has sprung.

Hanna Jubran


Hanna Jubran received his M.F.A. in sculpture from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and is currently a Sculpture Professor and 
Sculpture Area Coordinator at East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. 

Hanna’s work addresses the concepts of time, movement, balance and space. Each sculpture occupies and creates its own reality influenced by its immediate surroundings. The work does not rely on one media to evoke the intended response, but takes advantage of compatible materials such as, wood, granite, steel, iron and bronze.

International art shows, competitions and symposiums: 
The International Sculpture Symposium in Granby, Canada, The Ecatepec, Mexico International Monumental Sculpture Symposium, The Toyamura International Sculpture Biennial at Toyamura Village, Japan, The International Sculpture Symposium and Conference at Europos Parkas in Vilnius, Lithuania, The Second International Invitational Iron Sculpture Exhibition and Iron Pour at Tallinn University in Tallinn, Estonia and The International Woodcarving Symposium in Kemivarji, Finland. A recent commission Hanna just completed can be found on the grounds of Fayetteville University, Fayetteville, North Carolina. It is a nine-segmented concrete sculpture and reaches 11’ in height. Hanna is consistent, in his pursuit of creating enjoyable sculptures for private and corporate collections.

Greely Myatt


Myatt, whose decade’s-long art-making career has often focused on communication, expands upon his comic-strip/thought-bubble motif with his use of familiar materials like steel, wax, electricity, found objects, linoleum and air. Under Myatt’s watch the form is turned as many ways as possible while still remaining immediately recognizable. Combined with references of his complex Southern background and interest in the suggestion of a narrative that is, once visually unraveled, both witty and provocative, the Artist ignites a storm of conversation for the viewer without actually spelling anything out.

A new central component in Myatt’s work is his use of light to implement the idea of 'closure'; a gestalt principle that takes advantage of the placement of seemingly absent forms within an artwork so that the viewer completes the work in the mind. Shafts or planes of light take on various forms such as color to complete what initially appears to be negative space. For him, the act of conversation is important – not just the words.

Deedee Morrison


As a sculptor and installation artist, my work has been influenced by my interest in biological forms and light; coupled with the interest in the natural world is a fascination for technical and scientific advances. As a result, a unique style has evolved to reflect my understanding of the natural world by using heavy industrial metals, laser jet cutting methods and organically inspired designs to create solar powered sustainable sculptures. By combining green consciousness with forward thinking and sustainable designs, each piece of artwork fabricated is a functional solar powered sculpture that pays tribute to natureʼs beautiful efficiency.

I work in a very industrial setting that is an inspiring work environment for an artist. My studio is in the home of the Old Republic Steel Mill and what is now Wade Sand and Gravel Quarry. When I work with rocks out of the quarry, the limestone is harvested from an area with 600 million years of geological history. I think the process of harvesting the stone brings a certain awareness and perspective to my work.  The second element of influence is the backdrop of the old steel mill and buildings that brought in the industrial development of this whole region and has now been made obsolete – Republic Steel closed in the 70’s.  There is, of course, residue and environmental impact from this period in Birmingham’s history but at the time, the plant made the most of the known technology at the time by producing by-products from the coke ovens that included gas, tar, light oil, etc.  It’s intriguing to think about how technology can continue to answer many of the compelling energy challenges we face today – smarter, cleaner and more energy efficient as we evolve in our understanding of what serves our future and the future of our children best.

The current sculpture projects that I am involved with seek to encourage themes that I believe are critical to the longevity and health of our communities. Nature by necessity has solved many of the problems we are facing in our physical and built environments. I attempt to imitate the design principles that exist in the natural world and promote sustainable solutions.  Public Art has the wonderful opportunity of communicating the values and lead a city in understanding it’s cultural identity.  I have recently installed two solar sculpture projects in Clearwater, Florida and Chattanooga, Tennessee. I also have two upcoming solar light sculpture installations going in Colorado and California this summer, along with planning exhibitions for several Botanical Gardens.  These gardens are a natural fit for organically inspired sustainable art that works to promote renewable energy solutions.

I have been working as a professional studio and public artist for over 10 years and my experience includes a broad range of commissioned work and public art planning and development. I believe that sculpture site planning should incorporate the nuances of the land, the specific environment and/or any unique cultural features that will contextualize the onsite art. My past experiences have facilitated an integrated approach to sculpture planning which emphasizes active collaborations and partnerships with design teams, landscape architects, architects, engineers and the community as a whole. I have a proven track record of completing public art projects within budget and deadlines.Each sculptures seeks to educate, enlighten and distribute natureʼs solution for our communities.  Every sculpture is fabricated for strength as well as beauty. They are made from industrial grade metals and constructed to withstand real world conditions.

Cliff Tresner



Cliff Tresner comes from a farming background on the plains of Illinois and Indiana. He attended Indiana State University, Terre Haute, IN, and earned a BFA in Sculpture/Woodworking in 1990. From there he came to the south, attending The University of Mississippi, Oxford, MS, and receiving his MFA in sculpture in 1994.

Mr. Tresner has been teaching sculpture and drawing at the University of Louisiana at Monroe (ULM) since 1997. He has received many grants and awards including Best in Show at the Louisiana Contemporary 2014 exhibition at the Ogden Museum of Southern Art, New Orleans, LA; a Louisiana Division of Arts Fellowship; Northeast Louisiana Arts Council’s “Artist of the Year Award”; second place award in the National Outdoor Sculpture Competition, Lakeland, FL; and has received numerous Career Advancement Grants from the Louisiana Division of the Arts.

Mr. Tresner has an extensive exhibition record in drawing, painting, and sculpture. His recent focus has been on large-scale outdoor public sculpture with exhibitions in FL, NC, VA, LA, AL, NY, NC, and MS.

He serves the community as director of ULM's Sculpture Garden, an exhibition space devoted to bringing artists from around the nation to the University and local community; Director of ULM's Bry Hall Gallery, exhibiting artists of all disciplines; board member of the Northeast Louisiana Arts Council; and is currently historian of Kappa Pi International Art Fraternity.


I grew up the son of a farmhand on the plains of central Illinois. I was the first in my family to graduate high school and attend college. In many ways I was initially ill equipped to lead the life of a college art professor. Assuming the aura of sage refinement often associated with those in academia has always seemed elusive, and exploring my role as an educator and artist is still a work in progress. I often gauge others' reactions to a variety of situations and to the creative process. I do this primarily out of a sense of discovery; learning on the fly and questioning boundaries -seeing how things work, and often, fail to work.

In the simplest terms my work is about questioning. I tend to question everything and doubt the answer. In the studio I have freedom to question and doubt. While individual works may deal with specific subject matter, the underlying structure is questioning the nature of relationships. What happens if I do this or that to a material, or place one object adjacent another? I am constantly working out the elements of a composition, balancing what I know of furniture design and other so called functional crafts with fine art practices, questioning mine and others' relative worth in society and, frankly, anything that comes to mind. When I have provided enough answers via the "art object" I question if I was asking the right things in the first place.

I am not sure why I am this way. "I was born in Missouri, the Show Me State," is my general answer. I learned quickly in public education to temper my questions, and except answers for what they are. Through the artistic process I come to terms with my inquisitive nature. I revel in it, and during a cycle of creation and destruction, arrive at an answer I can live with. When making a successful piece, walking the line between its content and form, I realize how interconnected my practice is with all aspects of my life.

My influences are as varied as the way I piece my work together. I take great pleasure discovering other artists' work, analyzing how they are perceived, and taking what I need from them.  All things relative, I borrow my historical perspective, sense of craft, conceptual flexibility, playfulness, and connection to my materials from the likes of Marcel Duchamp, Anthony Gormley, David Nash, and Leonardo da Vinci.  This is by no means a definitive statement, but it is an effective introduction to my work and myself.

Nathan S. Pierce


My artistic vision is to create abstract forms that spark the imagination of the viewers and highlight the importance of communication. Whether we are engaging in dialogue with those around us, or finding new passions in life, it is fundamental that we continue seeking out and discovering new things. My work has always dealt with conflicts of confinement and freedom and exploring catalyst between the two: building or destroying communication systems. 
In the abstract form, these sculptures remind us of a fundamental idea, one that people of all ages can identify with. Their appendages likely reached out to send or receive signals from others.  It is difficult to discern whether they are from the future or the past, and regardless, one wonders how well they served their purpose, or if there was a purpose at all. These devices may be tangible evidence of how communication succeeds or fails in our own lives and in the lives of others.
The material I use and the process of my work is directly influenced by experience. I come from a mid-west, blue collar family that has been in the construction business for four generations. The idea to create sculpture from those same materials seemed natural and permanent. My decision to utilize the benefits of structural steel in my work also comes from being inspired by the fabrication process. I enjoy the dedication and commitment that is required with this material, it helps build character.