Archive for the ‘Art for Peace’ category

Nice Article in the Ojai Quarterly Glass and Me

November 29, 2012

This article was written by Anca Colbert and she interviewed me for her art column in the Ojai Quarterly magazine’s most recent issue. Here’s the article. Art & About-Winter2012

I’ve also been taking photos and the Ojai Photo Club has given me some awards lately. Here are a few photos I have received awards or praise for. I hope you enjoy viewing them and don’t hesitate to make a comment here as I’ll know someone is reading this blog.

I’ve also been finishing some sculptures in stone and will post the latest one below, I AM Joy and Light II, Basalt/Onyx/Granite 27″x25″x7″.


Garden Lookout takes a Journey

November 16, 2012

I am a bit remiss that I have neglected my blog for many months. I hope that the images that I post here and the story that goes along with the creative process will inspire you as artists and as art lovers. So here is the tale of the creation of a garden sculpture which will make it’s way into a hotel lobby soon.

I made my first Garden Lookout sculpture in the summer of 2002 out of a Canadian sandstone that I found on Vancouver Island. The natural shape of this stone lead me to cut the bottom and a hole for looking through. Holes in stones are a metaphor of the passage through something hard and difficult, yet possible. Whenever I would find a stone on a beach that had a hole in it, I would think of the work that it took for the water and the sand to wear through. Many years later I carved Garden Lookout II, this time I used Basalt and Limestone to complement each other. The movement of the Basalt stone I continued down the limestone design. I sold both of these Garden Lookout sculptures when I lived in Washington.

This past summer, I got a commission for a taller version of Garden Lookout ( 7′ tall ) for a hotel lobby. I was asked to make it in a similar version of Garden Lookout II. I wouldn’t try to replicate, as I want all of my sculptures to be original and not copies. I selected a 5′ tall basalt stone while up in Washington and cut out a limestone base from my stone inventory. I transported them down to Art City, a Ventura stone yard where I have been doing my stone sculpting since moving to Ojai. The carving was interrupted by several other sculpture carvings and shows, as well as a bulged disc in my lower back. This took a few weeks to heal before I could finish the commission. I experienced the thought “what if I cannot complete this sculpture using my own physical strength and skills?” Could I direct others to do the hands on work? Would it not be a sculpture of mine if I didn’t do all the work myself? This lead me to a place of recognition where the artist in me can direct many hands, like an orchestra conductor. As it is my design, I can make it anyway I want. This was a great release from the pressure of having a pinched nerve and not being able to hold a tool in my hands for 3 weeks. I found it liberating to watch my mind, and keep myself in a positive light, that I would get better, heal my back, and complete the commission in time. I am happy to share the photos of Garden Lookout III, and hope to have additional photos once it is installed in the hotel on the east coast. And to top it off, I completed my work ahead of schedule.

Getting Through Dark Times

March 9, 2011

Winter is always a challenging time for me in the northern climates. Like in nature, plants seem to go dormant and not produce outer growth. I too am part of nature and that may be one of the reasons I haven’t written much here on the blog. Well, there is more light coming each day, and I’m beginning to see new buds on the trees, and some early flowers popping up. These are reminders that life has cycles and the dark times will pass into gray and soon into the light. My creativity is now blooming as well. I have been offered a solo show at the A Gallery in Salt Lake City, UT in April 2011 and that has given me great reasons to get my creative juices flowing and sculpting up a storm.

Maybe there are other factors than just nature, creating the dark time. It seems to me that the current economy is also reason for some dark days ahead. What’s next with all of this budget cutting. Arts organization and their services are in deep trouble. The government is looking at cutting to zero most programs in the arts which require funding. I am continually receiving urgent requests to write my senators and congress representatives to not cut spending for the NEA, NPR, PRI, and local arts orgs.

You too can contact your representatives to hear your voice in support of the arts.

I have started a winter Artist Salon and it is something that you too can do in your area.

If you feel that the support of other creative types would bring benefit to your creative process and to others, here is what you do. Send out an email invitation to all your local artist friends and invited them to come and discuss what gets them through these dark times. If you don’t have many art friends to ask, then you can send a letter to the editor of your local paper or post on some bulletin boards around your community and you coordinate the efforts to make this happen. You can do it!

In previous years, I have hosted Artist Salons in my home. Artists and creative types have come and shared their challenges as well as their creativity. There is something about our work as artists which is very self absorbing and often isolating. With a group, you can step out of that bubble and feel with the other artists what the dark times are like for them. You can also share your challenges and ask for ideas or what has helped the others get through. This basic support group model, where everyone is given room to speak out and listening is as important as speaking, encourages the synergistic spark of new possibilities. This can create a renewing energy that can overcome the voices which hold you back.

This doesn’t have to begin and end in the winter time. You can host these year round if you’d like. This winter, I suggested another venue format for our Salons. The meetings would take place in other artist studios. We have just come back from our second studio and I feel inspired from seeing how another artist, organizes their work and how their creative process unfolds till it reaches the finished artwork. The group will meet every two weeks and we meet for three hours on a weekend afternoon. But this is subject to the needs of the group and your group might be better off in a weekday evening. Who knows what will work for you.

If you live in the Kitsap County region of Washington and want to partake in our 2011 group, please send me an email and I can send you the next meeting location. Wishing  you the best creative times, overcoming the darkness, and reaching out with your creativity. We will all benefit from your self expression. Don’t wait till you are too old to begin, and if you have begun, find the support you need to carry on.

ART SAVES LIVES! Sculpt Proud!


I AM Peace Corten Steel with Limestone 6' tall

My First PhotoBook of Art for Peace

September 13, 2010

It has been quite a while since my last blog posting. I have been very busy making my Art of Peace work. Some would say it’s a daily grind, especially when working some of the stones that don’t like being chiseled. And the glass work has been slow in cooling, and even slower in the finishing phase. But the main reason I’m writing today is to CELEBRATE the completion of my first photo book of my artwork. Please have a look and drop me a comment if you feel moved. Thanks, Brian

Live your life as a Portal for Peace

June 25, 2010

My creative process as a sculptor is my primary social political activism. This spring I completed four important sculptures. There are times when my sculptures give me an unexpected gift, a mystical boon from the collective unconscious. This just recently was the case with the completion and installation of my last sculpture, Peace Portal. I pictured it as a symbolic portal for peace, when each person sees that war is obsolete and steps up to living a life of peace.

The surprise came when a friend wrote me that she lives the idea of a portal for peace. She meant to type, I love the idea of a portal for peace. So I received the gift; that I am living my life as a portal for peace. The sculpture is just an outward symbol and a signpost for all to see. And so it is in my life and yours as well. May we all live in peace, on the inside as well as outside.
Here’s a video link to the Making of Peace Portal.

I also completed Earth Stewards, which are two sculptures and the beginning of a series.

With the Gulf Oil disaster, as well as environmental and health issues globally, I felt the need to sculpt these symbols for caretakers of our precious planet earth. Again I feel that we are here on earth to care for the planet and each other as Earth Stewards.

Then there is Cetus. After watching the movie “The Cove”, I knew that I had to finish Cetus. I had started this sculpture in Berlin, Germany in 2003. It was transported here in Lisa’s furniture container and has been waiting for my inspiration to finish it and get it out into a public setting. The movie was what I needed to light the fire within me to create a symbol to understand, honor, and to protect these precious mammals.

Looking forward, I will be in a show at Matzke Fine Art Gallery and Sculpture Park with an opening on June 26th and running until August 29th, so if you are looking for a great outing this is a beautiful destination.

Another great destination is the Wescott Bay Sculpture Park, also known as IMA Sculpture Park on San Juan Island, where I installed the Peace Portal and also Genesis II.

July 23-25, I will be teaching stone sculpting in Salt Lake City. If you want to attend, email or call and I can connect you with the organizer.

Wishing you a great summer.
Thank you for your continued support. Brian

Getting Publicity the Hard Way at Sundance

January 29, 2010

Well here’s the kind of publicity I least expected. I’ve not yet turned this lemon into lemonade.

When artwork is destroyed by an accident, does payment for the artwork cover the loss? What about the gift and intention of that artwork. When I make my art, I make it to express peace and healing, something that I feel is of great importance in the world. I work in materials (stone, bronze and cast glass) that will last well beyond the life of most consumer goods. When it is purchased, the intention of the buyer is to enjoy and share my art as a part of their living/working environment. Selling my artwork is the main way that I get to continue making more art.

It was not my intention when I made this sculpture that it would be damaged and not enjoyed by the person who purchased it. When I am paid for damaged artwork it is different than selling my artwork. I have lost one of my creations and the purchaser doesn’t get to enjoy their purchase.

Last winter when I exhibited in the Louvre, I signed up for Google alerts. Yesterday I got the alert for this article. The irony of this article garnering publicity for me during the Sundance Film Festival, is that it was at the cost of a damaged sculpture. The author S.T. VanAirsdale for Movieline twists and turns the story to create what he calls the Sundance Sculpturegate; who pays for the broken sculpture? So now, I get the publicity and a check, and someone who I don’t know gets to pay for the broken sculpture. Unfortunately, it is a loss for both of us and the world as well.

Here’s the link to the article in

Phoenix Rising falls and breaks

Well, to dispell the uncertainty and doubt in the article, I will get paid for the broken sculpture, though this is not the way I like to make sales. Getting my artwork into a Harvey Weinstein movie or being purchased at Sundance by the many film makers, actors, and film lovers is one of the benefits of exhibiting in the CODA Gallery in Park City. So as The Sundance Film Festival comes to a close, MIRAMAX Films closes it’s doors, my Phoenix Rising returns to prima materia. Maybe Mr. Weinstein will want a Berman Phoenix sculpture of his own.

Feed an Artist-Feeding your Soul

December 31, 2009

December 31, 2009, the end of the year, the end of a decade, the end of scarcity and fear. Please continue a list of all that you want to end, taking time today to make it known and commit to something that Feeds your Soul in 2010.

Appreciation is a life-blood for me, and sales are the height of appreciation when it comes to the challenges of hard economic times. During the good times, when sales were covering the costs of new materials, tools that wear out, and the ongoing costs of education, my artwork would flourish and I could feel my Soul’s calling. The artwork would show up in my vision, then in the material, and after a period of transforming the materials, the artwork would be done. Often when working in the “Zone” when my monkey mind was silent, I would wonder how the artwork happened, losing myself in the process, like disappearing and the art continued to be made. Don’t know if this is common for all artists, but this experience is worth returning to the studio day after day searching for that Zone.

As a self-supporting artist for 30 years, I have found this year the most challenging. With galleries closing down, and sales not at all what they used to be, an appreciative audience is hard to find. This economy has forced me to look at how important being appreciated is. Making my artwork  just to satisfy ME is not complete without presentation to an audience that will view it and connect to it. And when my artwork is appreciated, well, I find it’s life enhancing, like oxygen, touch, food, love, water, and communication. Finding ways to receive a note of appreciation, the voice of another, the smile when someone looks at my work is essential for me. Donating to local causes also gives me appreciation, and is one of the ways I feed my soul.

Sculpture is a non-verbal communication and I want mine to be received, valued and appreciated. In a recent exhibition of my sculptures, a woman admiring my work declared in a loud voice, “Your work makes me so Happy!” That has stayed with me every day since hearing her say that.

In galleries, it’s sales that give me appreciation. I love attending an exhibition of my artwork, where I get to hear the comments, to feel the appreciation directly. Those of you who know my work, know how much it takes to transport and display sculpture. I do regional shows so that I can directly connect with the viewer, see their reaction to my art, hear their appreciation, as well as sell my work. I also love installing my work in someone’s home, office, or public setting. The selling obviously keeps the entire cycle in flow.

When sales (and appreciations) don’t happen over an extended period of time, it brings up big questions about my motivation for making new sculptures. Would I do it without appreciation? Could I provide my own appreciation, as a path to self-sufficiency? I pretty much stopped blogging for many months, after last December’s Louvre exhibition in Paris and returned back to the states to the economic freeze. I found it hard to write about the dark night that didn’t fade away at dawn. I moved through that frozen state by teaching, which lead to creative ideas, and new sculptures emerged in my studio.

So now I sit here at the computer writing this on the last day of 2009. I remember back to Y2K, when the last decade of the 20th century was being hyped by all the fear mongers as well as good intentioned friends. Because of some computer glitch, all the banking systems would stop, all the markets would collapse, all the airlines would crash down in some way. Well we got through, that within a split second it was proven to be a myth of no proportion. Yet it was 9/11 that brought the biggest change to me as an artist, as I upped my social artistry, and shifted my sculpture focus towards Art of Peace.. There is a big story there, and it is best read about on the website.

As the year comes to a close, my soul has been fed by all those who gave appreciation, and by the many creative impulses that have bubbled up to the surface with new sculptures and projects. My thanks to those who found and purchased my artwork. My artist plan which I call Art of Peace is to continue to make artwork that connects people to themselves and to others. To me, our Soul’s nature is peace and love. I know these are such common words that they have lost their value and meaning. But please know this, Peace is our birthright and love is our purpose for being. Let us end the year, with a commitment to support each other with love and appreciation. Let us live the power of peace which is within each of us. It is my prayer that my artwork helps connect us all in our one shared humanity.

May 2010 bring us all closer to our dreams. May the entire world find peace and joy.

Portal to Peace

Omega Series