Nice Article in the Ojai Quarterly Glass and Me

Posted November 29, 2012 by brianberman
Categories: Art for Peace, Sculpture

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

Posted November 16, 2012 by brianberman
Categories: Art for Peace, Sculpture

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.

Solo Show – When a body of work is greater than the sum of its parts

Posted May 10, 2011 by brianberman
Categories: Uncategorized

Though I haven’t posted in a while, I wanted to bring you up to date with my solo show, Art for Peace. Yesterday May 6th, it ended and today I was told that the sold work has now moved into their new homes and the gallery has been reset with the remaining pieces of my show staying in the main gallery. I’m very happy about this as a body of work, even a reduced body of work, is more powerful than individual artworks spread throughout a gallery in a group setting. The results so far are way beyond my norm and I hope that this is something repeatable and a sign that the times are changing in the art world. So far, I have sold 18 sculptures (7 in cast glass, and 11 in stone) and one commission. The new gallery set up will run through the beginning of June, so if you are in the Salt Lake City region, stop in at the A Gallery and see my work there.

Here’s something that I wrote after the April 7th opening:

Not able to sleep, and just had to get up and begin April 8. Last night was
incredible. We arrived in SLC in the afternoon to winter. Hail, sleet, and
snow and then as we drove to the gallery after sprucing up, it really
began to snow hard. We entered the gallery at 5:45 and the staff was
smiling and a coy way. Did you have a look, they said. At what I said. The
red dots. The show had been up since March 29th and the staff had been
busy. 11 red dots, and one sculpture was gone, also sold. TWELVE sold and
the opening hadn’t even happened yet. OH MY GOD. Lisa and I walked around
seeing what had sold and were in shock, but elated. By the end of the
opening three more sales and many potential buyers, as they talked to me
and said to the gallery folks, they would be back, and they meant it. I
met with interior designers, who have been selecting my work over the
years for their clients. I met with architects and people with starched
shirts, under beautiful over garments. I met with people with such designer
glasses, of which I have never seen, and dressed to match.

One man bought my Seed of Compassion. He is the head of the fine art
department at the university here in Salt Lake City. He was all heart and
what felt like meeting a brother to say it like it felt.

I share my joy with you. This is something that I have NEVER felt before
in a gallery and never felt having done a good showing someplace including
our home. It feels like this is the oasis that I have been approaching
these 20 years in the art world, yet not ever tasting these waters, I
never knew what it would feel like until last night and now. It really
hasn’t fully sunk in, and I’m just riding the wave.

Getting Through Dark Times

Posted March 9, 2011 by brianberman
Categories: Art for Peace, Sculpture

Tags: , , ,

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

Fall News – New sculpture book 3D modeling and more

Posted September 22, 2010 by brianberman
Categories: Uncategorized

Well after previewing my new sculpture book, I spent the last 10 days making edits and improving the layout and look of the book.

WOW!   I can hardly say how great it feels to complete my first book of sculptures. The photo book is an visual exhibition of sculptures I created between 2002 and this summer.

You can view a full preview of the book, as well as purchase copies at the above link.
I will sign copies of the book during Art in the Woods, November 12-14th. Please bring friends.

I am now working again on the 3D modeled shell form. It’s a long story and one that I will share more at length when I can show you a finished sculpture. It feels like a distant oasis, calling me to drink, yet not knowing why, I move forward. What is the shell about? And why does 3D modeling draw me in? This is what I know as of now, and when I step down the road a few miles and months, I will likely have a new knowledge. Following this inner call is one reason being an artist is such a daring adventure.

Showing the resin segments glue tacked together

The shell has been a symbol I’ve used in many early sculptures. It represents a home cast aside, either through death or by moving on. It reminds me that I carry around protection and I can drop it when it is time. It is the shell of the old which yields to the seed of the new. For me, it is the power of this symbolic sculpture, and what emerges is a new beginning. This is what I see going on both in my personal life perspective and the greater changes in our culture and the rest of the world.

Vertical view of the shell

And there were many new sculptures emerging from my studio this summer. They can be seen on my website, as well as in the new book. My creative juices were peaking throughout the summer and I enjoyed taking many photographs, as our Miller Bay home offered us many wildlife experiences. I photographed schools of small fish in the millions, man of war jellyfish, seals, otters, birds of prey and water foul in numerous species. We traveled to Utah, where I taught a stone carving workshop, and exchanged sculptures in my gallery there. We also enjoyed summer play time. Lisa and I competed in a Boule tournament and we were awarded 1st place metals and given a trophy based upon our excellent play.

I AM That

Gateway IV

I am grateful for my good health, and for all your support, both of which keep me going.

I look forward to seeing you during Art in the Woods, the Bainbridge Island Studio tour, or one of our fall events.

My best to you, Brian

My First PhotoBook of Art for Peace

Posted September 13, 2010 by brianberman
Categories: Art for Peace, Sculpture

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

Posted June 25, 2010 by brianberman
Categories: Art for Peace, Sculpture

Tags: , , , , ,

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