Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Veronica Szalus, Industrial Design, Sculptor, Tells Her Story

My path to creating installation art has been influenced by my studies in industrial design and a deep interest in creating environmental pieces that explore the both the conceptual and physical phenomenon transition. I am fascinated by the fact that everything, at all times, is in a state of evolution. From the macro to the micro, nothing is permanent, and as a result we have created a framework in our lives that revolves around consistency.


Consistency is what we hold on to, even have to hold onto, but nothing is ever the same. You wake up every morning, and everything might seem the same, but much has changed - cells in your body have been created and cells in your body have died. The sun has risen, but at a slightly different time each day and cloud cover can vary greatly from moment to moment – and so on.

Newsprint in Transition

I have always gravitated toward art and design. Starting out on a smaller scale I studied jewelry design at the Fashion Institute of Technology immediately after graduating high school. My work in jewelry quickly became very sculptural and soon I felt confined by the scale of the works and started create site specific sculptures and structures including crawling insects, clothing racks and small display systems made from spare parts. Then I went back to school to study industrial design at Pratt Institute. This changed everything, whole new ideas, concepts and ways of thinking unfolded.

Permeable Intersections

While studying industrial designs. I became fascinated with materials, and in particular pushing the boundaries of materials. What if I could make a single piece of paper, 1/8” thick, 8 feet tall and 4 feet wide stand in an upright vertical position, on its own, without an armature or any visible external support. And then what would this paper look like in a day, week, month, etc. This is where my influence in industrial design began merging with concepts for experimental installations driven by a desire to try out any idea that crossed my mind. I often create mockups testing a concept and I am convinced my neighbors think I am crazy.

Tilted Soul

I am continuously seeking to develop my work through volume and scale, new forms, and observation of the intersection of natural and manufactured materials that can be new or reused. Through the use of material I embrace fragility, balance and porosity; I am mesmerized by subtle and overt shifts caused by the impact of time. For inspiration I often take long walks in wooded areas along the Potomac River and then mill around hardware stores and salvage centers such as Community Forklift. When I can I visit the ocean for clarity and perspective. Currently I am excited about increasing the use of natural materials in my work.

Twisted Wall

Observing and interacting with new concepts, forms, and space layouts by artists, designers and architects, are major drivers for me. I was transfixed by the installations at the Renwick Gallery Wonder exhibition, and in particular the works of Chakaia Booker, Tara Donovan, and Patrick Dougherty.  I am inspired by the vision, architecture and engineering of many individuals, including but not limited to Santiago Calatrava, Renzo Piano, and the recently deceased Zaha Hadid. And, I am constantly reminded that new concepts and expressions of creativity evolve every day by all types of people, right here in the Washington DC metro area, as well as everywhere throughout the world. This is very compelling to me.

Soul of a Tributary

To me an artist is an individual who seeks creative outlets to explore and express observations, influences, and ideas. It is an exciting and very enriching state of mind that embraces the freedom to experiment and take risks.

This is Week 24 of 52 Artists in 52 Weeks. Thank you for reading and sharing Veronica’s story today. To connect with Veronica and see more of her work, please visit her website.

At Work in the Studio

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