Wk7-Artist Conversation-Michael VanOverbeck

Artist: Michael VanOverbeck
Exhibition: BFA Thesis Expedition
Media: Wood
Gallery: CSULB School of Art, Gatov Gallery West
Website: No website
Instagram: No Instagram

This week I met a great and inspiring artist name Michael VanOverbeck. VanOverBeck went attended El Camino College then transferred over to CSULB. He specials in wood and loves creating art pieces in wood because it “invites touch” and allows viewers to touch the art work. He explained that in most art galleries people go in and the art pieces looks like it is unable to be touch, but for wood it is more inviting because the way that the surface looks. Although he likes the media of wood, he also teaches painting and drawing at El Camino College.

In VanOverbeck’s exhibition, the were only pieces made out of wood. The texture was so smooth and it was really fascinating to look at. On some wood pieces there were different shades of wood which was interesting because I’d never seen so many shades of wood combined together. The rocking chairs that he made too over 200 hours to make and I could tell that he put so much into making it. One of the chairs he made was for his mother which I thought was so sweet that he decided to show it off.

VanOverbeck shared a story with us about the bowl that he made. He explained that it represented a cat he once went to visit at an animal shelter and he found out that the cat was being used. The cat was used for blood transactions and other things for other cats. The bowl illustrated how the cat was beautiful on the outside but broken on the inside. He said that it was hard to make the bowl perfect and that the had tried a couple times before getting it perfect because it was hard to crack the inside without ruining the whole bowl. I thought the story was really sad but very inspiring. It was my first time hearing an art story that was so beautiful with so much meaning with such a random object. It was interesting finding out that a bowl could represent the main from a cat.

Wood is such a beautiful thing to work with and I find it very interesting how the finishing pieces turn out. I enjoyed touching and viewing the pieces and it made me wonder how he did it. I’d like to see him make a rocking chair one day so that I can see how he carves the wood and make it look so perfect and also what typeof material he uses. Overall I enjoyed talking to VanOverbeck because he was really nice and he made sure to let us know how much soul he put into his work.


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