Fragment, 2007. Reclaimed barn timbers, 12 x 16 x 30 ft.

The Power of Objects: A Conversation with Aristotle Georgiades

While in law school at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, I decided to pursue an MFA in sculpture at the same time. I needed an advocate in the art department who would supervise my ad hoc joint degree, and thankfully, I found Aris Georgiades, who eventually became the chair of my graduate committee. We met in his office, which was covered in a layer of sawdust and had a better collection of strange objects than the prop room for Harry Potter or “Sanford and Son.” Not only was Aris open to working with me, he understood my eclectic skill set as an opportunity. That summarizes his approach as an educator, artist, and person: see past the surface—the knee-jerk judgment—and find the possibilities, the usable material. I have seen him do this with materials by repurposing objects, building materials, and nature itself. He does the same thing with his students—he sees the potential. By dialoguing about ideas, exploring theory and practice, and embracing the intellectual joy and complexity of contemporary art, he has mentored some of the most interesting sculptors working today, including Michael Rea, Amanda Browder, Chris Walla, Stephanie Liner, Dave Beck, and Brian Murer. …see the entire article in the print version of October’s Sculpture magazine.