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Fuller Cowles

Charles “Fuller” Cowles

_mg_6970I grew up in a family of artists, so the idea of becoming an artist myself was not unusual. My first art classes in the 1970s encouraged me to dream big about finding my own space as an artist. My primary medium is sculpture. My work as a sculptor ranges from large- and small-scale pieces that incorporate a wide array of materials including stone, concrete, metal, and glass. My non-representational work incorporates principles of Cubism, Surrealism, Abstract Expressionism, and other 20th century styles.

In addition to the organic forms of Cowles’ current sculpture, its associative nature also aligns it to the thinking of the Surrealists and even some Abstract Expressionists. Non-repres_mg_0887entational, it is infused with a narrative quality whose content eludes us. The sculpture also projects an iconic presence, although an exact identity or meaning is a mystery. -David Francis

I also work in painting, collage, and photography. My three-dimensional work in sculpture often emerges from my two-dimensional work on paper – I find that drawing is a natural predecessor to sculptural ideas. I view photography as a way to capture the beauty and immediacy of a moment. And, finally, collage has offered a space for me to explore the blending of historical and current events.

My desire to make objects is one of the primary ways that I relate to this lifetime. There is a subliminal element of using my unconscious to create large-scale objects that have meaning for me and, I hope, for others. I consider it a privilege to be an artist – to work with and connect to others through my commission work, and to create abstract works that reflect the culture of our time.

Other Activities

  • City of St. Paul Economic Revitalization through the Arts (committee member, 1988)
  • Forecast Public Artworks (chair, 1989-1992; board member, 1989-1994)
  • Unity Avenue Foundation (board member, 1994-2008)
  • Franconia Sculpture Park (co-founder, 1996-present)
  • St. Croix Valley Community Foundation (panelist, 1999-2000)
  • Mill Reef Fund (board member, 2012-present)
  • Weisman Art Museum (board member, 2013-present)