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Forest Park Students To Complete Josh Welker's Outdoor Sculpture This Spring

January 24, 2012

Angular pieces of plywood rise from a base on the courtyard between E and D Towers at St. Louis Community College-Forest Park. The sculpture, by St. Louis native Josh Welker, is part of his current exhibit, “It Wasn’t Me, I Wasn’t There,” which runs through Feb. 3 at the Gallery of Contemporary Art on campus. However, the plywood sculpture is staying.

Josh Welker's sculpture for web  
Josh Welker's sculpture at the Forest Park campus

Forest Park art students will paint it when the weather is conducive, at least 55 degrees. Otherwise, the paint will not adhere properly. The color will consist of three tones of red, white detailed lines, and blue and silver at the base of the form.

Matthew Isaacson, ceramic coordinator and also gallery coordinator, helped Welker start the piece here two weeks ago, wielding power tools on a chilly Sunday night. Today, the sculpture is complete in its construction phase, he said.

“The piece is secure and all the boards underneath are screwed down. It has a raw and unfinished feeling to appear purposefully in order to arouse the viewers’ senses and further question the idea of what is contemporary sculpture,” Isaacson said.

“It will be very exciting once the piece is painted, and will also involve students from the sculpture course collaborating on painting the form,” Isaacson said.

Welker explained that his sculpture, “It Wasn’t Me, I Wasn’t There,” was generated from the desire to make a sculpture, or group of sculptures, that, like the landscape, cannot be viewed entirely from a fixed point.

“At times, one must move in order to see. Conversely, one’s movement may vanquish the scene. We often have to stalk,” he said. “A. Dillard recorded: ‘The muskrat never twitched. Only once, when he was feeding from the opposite bank about eight feet away from me, did he suddenly rise upright, all alert – and then he immediately resumed foraging. Be he never knew I was there… I never knew I was there, either.’"

Welker, who was born in St. Louis and received a bachelor's degree in fine arts from Webster University in 2000, is currently an associate professor of art at Taylor University in Upland, Ind. He received his master’s in fine arts from the University of Texas at Austin in 2009.