<span style="color:azure"> ARTIST BIOGRAPHY: Joel Hotchkiss

Joel Hotchkiss was born in 1949 in Torrington Connecticut and raised in the small New England town of Sherman.

His father, DeWolfe Hotchkiss worked on Madison Avenue in several of the big Ad Agencies during the 1960’s. Being from a creative family environment, Joel sought a career in art and attended Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, graduating in 1972 with a BFA in Advertising Design and Communication. He studied overseas in Rome, Italy for a semester during his Senior year at Pratt. After graduating, he moved to Boston and took a job as an Art Director at MacDougall Associates in Salem, MA.

In 1976 he began exploring kinetic art by making and balancing mobiles in his Newberry and Beacon Street apartments. He discovered that the mobile art form required multiple disciplines that just happened to coincide with the talents he had in his creative arsenal. He wanted to move on from a career in client driven advertising and become a mobile artist in his own creative style. Now in his mid 20's he had discovered a passion he wanted to pursue so he made a bold decision to move across the country to Oakland, California to set out on a new creative journey and fully dedicate himself to creating mobiles. So in 1978 he packed up and headed west.

The early 1980's in the Bay Area were a very exciting period. Joel commuted daily from Oakland up across the San Rafael Bridge into Marin County to a Studio/Workshop called Kinetic Objects in San Rafael where he worked on and perfected the art of mobile making. He took courses to learn both welding and metal working techniques to be able to work with a wide range of metals including copper, brass, aluminum, steel and stainless as well as introducing plastic and fabric applications into his work.

Joel recalls: "At the end of the week I would drive from Marin County down across the Golden Gate Bridge and into San Francisco to deliver the new mobiles I had made to Don Conard's Gallery in Ghirardelli Square. Waiting there would be a check for the mobiles that sold that week and I would then return back home across the Bay Bridge to Oakland with money in my pocket". The plan was working! v "Designing and creating contemporary mobiles for over 40+ years has been an awesome artistic journey. Mobiles are an intriguing sculptural discipline where balance, motion, composition, scale, texture and color must all be considered in a finished design. I continuously explore new ideas for constructing the mobiles... drawing on creative impulses from past experiences that result in innovative approaches that can reveal new design direction, balancing techniques and mixed uses of a variety of materials."

“I believe mobiles add an energy and aesthetic quality to interior living spaces. The viewer either directly or subliminally picks up on the balance and movement that is occurring in mid air above their heads. They are like a companion that performs in time and space and effortlessly moves… requiring no energy source besides the soft wafts of air that pass through a room.”

Joel has designed an impressive line of mobile designs for both interiors and exterior settings. Often seen and sold in Galleries and Museum Stores nationwide including San Francisco MOMA and the Guggenheim Museum NYC. He also creates larger mobile commissions for residential and commercial spaces.

Currently Joel works with his wife Sandra and two assistants at their Studio/Workshop and Gallery located in West Stockbridge, MA. His complete line of mobiles are represented on his website at www.artmobiles.com


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