Posted on Thursday, July 24, 2014
This fall, Andrew Hellmund '14 will pursue graduate studies at the University of Alberta in Canada, but before he leaves Geneva he ensured that he would leave a lasting mark on the City he called home for four years. Two of Hellmund's metal sculptures will be installed at Geneva's Lakefront Park, between Castle Creek and the Events and Visitor Center.
Hellmund has donated one of the pieces and the City of Geneva is purchasing the other. This is the latest in a number of public showcases of his work over the course of the past year, stretching from Massachusetts to Michigan.
During his senior year, his work was part of Geneva Night Out, a monthly celebration of arts and culture in downtown Geneva. His sculptures were on display at Lake City Hobby in December. Hellmund's project "Biking the Berlin Wall" was included in the second annual Julius G. Blocker '53 Cultural Showcase on campus in November. His work was geared toward exploring the visual and cultural side of Berlin. Earlier in the fall, The Hartsbrook School, in Hadley, Mass., installed his piece, "Simplicity I."
The Shelburne Falls, Mass., native was also one of only 19 sculptors nationwide (and the youngest and least experienced by far) to have been included in the 2012 Biennial Sculpture Invitational at the Krasl Arts Center in St. Joseph, Michigan. For his work "On Upward Wing," he found the materials in a scrap yard near Geneva. That sculpture is now part of the permanent collection at Lake Michigan College.
"Being accepted to that invitational was humbling," says Hellmund. "It was thrilling, and the thrill has continued on."
Sculpting has been an interest of Hellmund's since he was seven years old - when he started carrying around pliers and a spool of wire, making figures inspired by artist Alexander Calder. As he got older, he traded in the pliers and wire for welding rod and recycled metal, creating large sculptures. He decided to attend HWS rather than an art school because he knew he wanted a broad education.
"Attending lectures and being able to talk with other professors outside my fields was an amazing opportunity to enlarge my perspective," he says.
While at HWS, fellowships helped him travel to Germany and Japan to study architecture, and along the way he met and learned from various artists.
From exploring 1,000-year-old palaces in Japan to bonding with sculptors in England to scouring scrap yards, Hellmund draws on wide-ranging sources to inspire his work in architecture, sculpture and photography.
Hellmund earned his B.A. in architectural studies and studio art with Honors from Hobart College. His Honors Project was titled "Sculptural Passage: A Convergence of Industry and Nature," and was completed under the advisement of A. E. Ted Aub, professor of art and architecture and an award-winning sculptor. The project explored the sculpture in the tradition of 20th century formalist abstract art. His welded structure used found metal to create sculptural passages composed of found, formed and fitted elements.
"By reusing recycled metal and former industrial elements, I sought to transform the materials into new sculptures that foster community and highlight the many overlooked resources in our environment," says Hellmund. "In rediscovering the value and worth in them again, we can find new ways to utilize these resources while still maintaining and acknowledging recognizable elements from the objects' former histories and uses."
On campus, Hellmund was involved in the Community Chorus, Campus Peer Ministry, HWS Genocide and Human Rights Symposium, Architecture Society, Hobart rowing team, Leadership Training and is Art and Architecture House manager. While at graduate school, he also plans to continue creating sculpture through his own Hellmund Studio. One day he hopes to teach sculpture at the college level.