North Newton man creates art genre
Inventor, author, auto designer and artist Glen Ediger has led quite a life — winning awards for designs, filing patents as an inventor and winning awards for his writing. He grew up on a farm in Harvey County, and has lived that life within the county.
And his artwork is now hanging in a gallery in Harvey County, as the Carriage Factory Gallery opens “Environmental Exposure” this weekend, an exhibition which will run through July 16.
There will be meet and greet events at the gallery, 128 E. Sixth, from 6 to 8 p.m. May 29 and 1 to 3 p.m. May 30.
For this exhibition, Ediger tapped on his inventor's background and farm roots — in his words creating a new artistic genre.
"[It is] a new art genre I call 'Environmental Exposure,'” Ediger said. "I set sheets of steel, copper, aluminum, or wood outdoors with materials setting on top of the sheets, and expose it to the weather for months to over a year, to create abstract landscapes with the rust, dust and patina."
Ediger is the retired Director of Design Vornado air after a 30 years career as a designer, he was Involved in the design and development of Vornado Air products since 1985, and is listed as the inventor on well over 100 US patents.
Ediger’s latest creative venture has been a cooperative effort with Mother Nature. He first got the idea for his art genre when he saw a rusting car that had patterns left on the metal from rusting cans and thought “Could this be art?”
The result of his experimentation is 40 of art for the exhibition at the Carriage Factory Art Gallery.
Ediger takes different types of metals and masks them with different natural elements or other metal shapes, sets them outside to be exposed to the elements and lets nature take its course. Some pieces are left outside for just a few weeks and others for over a year.
“Sometimes, the hardest thing is deciding when to bring the piece in,” Ediger said.
Once he brings a piece in from the exposed elements, he cleans it by using compressed air to remove any debris, seals the metal and then mounts, mats and frames the pieces using reclaimed lumber.
Landscapes are the focus of much of Ediger’s work but through experimentation using different metals, where he places the pieces to be exposed – close to a tree, in direct sun, etc. – and how long the piece is exposed, he is able to achieve a variety of effects.
“Everything we do leaves an impression," Ediger said. "Our actions, whether intended or not, create an effect on our environment and on our relationships. My art-form is an expression of that effect, it intends to ‘expose’ both literally and figuratively the effects of our actions, by creating a patina, with rust and decay on to the medium, literally creating the art on the exposed material.”
Forty of Ediger’s metalwork pieces are part of his upcoming show “Environmental Exposure” at Carriage Factory Art Gallery May 29-July 16. The show will kick off with three meet and greet events at the gallery – 6-8 p.m. Friday May 28, 6-8 p.m. Saturday, May 29 and 1-3 p.m. Sunday, May 30.
More information about the show can be seen at carriagefactorygallery.com, including a video of Ediger discussing his process and a visual catalog for the show.
A 2012 Bethel College Outstanding Alumnus award winner, he has a product in the Chicago Athenaeum Museum permanent collectio and the pieces of design work included in a special exhibit at The Art Institute Chicago.