The College of the Redwoods Creative Arts Gallery will present an exhibition of new work by Benjamin Funke, titled Fly the W, opening February 26th with a public reception for the artist from 4pm to 6pm. This exhibit showcases large-scale ink, watercolor and pencil works on paper alongside bronze, epoxy and kinetic sculptures inspired by basketball.
Gallery visitors will encounter familiar basketball-related imagery along with abstract sculptural forms, visually expounding on this immensely popular and culturally entrenched game.
For one series of sculptures, Funke cast basketball nets in bronze. He expertly transforms this iconic symbol into visually enticing gnarled objects. Another set of colorful, hand-molded epoxy sculptures subtly evoke the towering dynamism of players on the court.
In his two-dimensional piece, Downtown, he uses ink on paper to render an empty neighborhood streetball court. The image is slightly abstracted, visually referencing digitally altered photography, yet it is hand-drawn. It is over six feet tall and rises above gallery visitors, prominently commanding the space, all the while providing them with a sense of connection to this staple of urban life.
Benjamin Funke is originally from Chicago and earned his MFA at the University of Notre Dame in Indiana. He currently lives and works as a local artist in Eureka. He is a member of the Art faculty at the College of the Redwoods and Humboldt State University where he teaches a range of studio art courses, including sculpture and drawing. More information about Funke’s work can be found through his Instagram account @b_funke.jpg and on the web at www.benjaminfunke.com.
Special thanks to the US Bureau of Land Management, Sandy Miles, Shelter Cove Arts and Recreation Foundation, Humboldt Arts Council and the Beverly Faben Artist Residency Award.
The exhibition will run from February 26 to March 26. The Creative Arts Gallery at College of the Redwoods is located on the Eureka Main Campus, North Entrance and is open Monday through Thursday 12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. and by appointment. Admission is free and open to the public. For more information, please visit www.redwoods.edu/artgallery or call the Art Department office at (707) 476-4559.