FIGURE, FORM, FUNCTION
Sculpture & Design
June 15 – July 28, 2013
621 First Street, Benicia, California
Opening Reception: Saturday, June 15, 2013, 6-9 pm
Gallery hours: Thursday-Sunday, 12-6 PM and by appointment
Artist, craftsman and entrepreneur Jack Ruszel knows his way around wood. Since childhood, he has been fascinated by wood’s beauty and functionality; as an adult, it became his passion as a sculptor as well as his livelihood as a designer of wood products. Ruszel shows the range of his talents as a fine arts sculptor, through figurative and abstract pieces, carrying his aesthetic and craftsmanship into fine furniture.
His Figures are subtractive sculptures of sensuous contour and shadow. His carving style is gentle and graceful, delicately balancing soft overall forms with sharp edged line. The artist emphasizes the asymmetrical turns and twists of the feminine body, while maintaining and highlighting the mass of original living tree.
Form is built in his geometric work, using straight edged rhombus shapes stepped and repeated, creating graceful curves.
Functional works include fine furniture designs. Ruszel’s Archer chair portrays the same qualities of sensual grace as his figurative sculpture, adding locally sourced urban lumber, and heirloom quality construction.
Jack has spent his life running Ruszel Woodworks, a small wood products factory located in Benicia. He is currently re-focusing the efforts of his company to train skilled factory workers as craftsman/artisans. A limited production run of his “Archer” chair is currently being used for that purpose. With the emphasis on quality of life and the value of craftsmanship, he envisions “small, and “local” as key ingredients to a sustainable future.