Andy Moerlein “Mountain Swallow”
16 x 12 x 7 inches, wood and ceramic
Andy Moerlein is an internationally exhibited sculptor. His work has been shown in museums, sculpture gardens, and galleries from Alaska to New York, Switzerland to Peru. Mr. Moerlein has an extensive resume of public art works and site specific monumental outdoor sculptures. This summer he is featured at The Haskell Public Gardens, New Bedford MA, where his bamboo installation Drawing on the Sacred Circle covers an acre plot in an architectural enclosure that has been planted with vines and gourds by collaborator Master Horticulturalist Kristin McMillin.
During the summer of 2017 Moerlein was in Denmark at the International Woodsculpture Symposium in Ringkøbing, and then traveled to Taiwan for a 5 week residency at the Museum of Marine Science and Technology. In 2016 his sculptures were featured in a solo exhibition “Geology” at Boston Sculptors Gallery, and he installed Impossible, a series of 13 sculptures in a 5 acre park in downtown Muskegon Michigan. He has awarded the Distinguished Chair 2015 at the Truro Center for the Arts at Castel Hill where an installation was commissioned for their garden. In 2014 he carved granite at Contemporary Arts International’s Carving Symposium “Art Archeology”. In 2013 he worked in residence in Cusco Peru. In 2012, he was the Artist in Residence at the Fruitlands Museum in Harvard, Massachusetts. In 2011 he participated in the Verbier 3D Foundation's Artist Residency in the Swiss Alps.
Mr. Moerlein has been an arts advocate, gallery director, educator, and professional juror for over 30 years. He has taught in college programs, presented workshops nationally and internationally, curated panel discussions and been a Visiting Artist and Guest Lecturer. He has been a teacher and gallery director at the Derryfield School in Manchester NH for 20 years and is currently teaching at Hampstead Academy. Moerlein holds a BA from Dartmouth College and an MFA from Cornell University. He lives and works in Maynard MA and Boston MA.
Moerlein’s work has a storyteller’s attitude - that tightrope walk between naturalism and symbolism. Ceramic birds fill branches and stones with a communication that is evident yet ambiguous. Some snuggle together; others turn their backs to each other. The birds seem ordinary - an embodiment of stillness - frozen in place. Yet each conveys a gesture that implies movement. These birds are prone to startle and fly at any moment.
Moerlein’s birds are a mix of authentic and exceptional. Real feathers festoon the rather generic small birds. Wood “stones” and complex branches complete a scene that suggests the interruption of an event. “My birds are steeped in presence. I express my human story with small birds as actors.”