Pam Foss, Sculptor
Creative Lives Lecture Series, II
Tuesday, November 10
Day of event: $20/person
Monday, November 9
“I have been creating visual art for more than 30 years, driven in large measure, by the joy of discovering new methods and materials to express my artistic vision. This drive that led me to create a revolutionary body of work derived entirely from insulation foam board (Styrofoam).
I began experimenting with insulation board (Styrofoam) several years ago as part of my quest to find a material that would allow me to create gestural, free flowing drawings that I could ultimately turn into bas-relief sculpture. What I discovered by using tools employed in pyro-graphics (wood-burning) was that I was able to create highly complex gestural “drawings” on and beneath the surface of the insulation board (Styrofoam). Not only could these tools be used to “draw” on the surface of the board, they also created indentations on the surface wherever the tool met the board, thereby making a completed “drawing” also a sunken relief.
As one discovery often leads to another, I began experimenting with packing the surface of these sunken relief sculptures with a cotton based pulp to see if I could pull a negative (bas-relief) from the sunken relief (positive). As the pulp dried over several days I watched in amazement as a beautiful bas-relief sculpture emerged from the insulation board.
More experimenting with insulation board soon led me in a new direction with this remarkable material. I learned that I could easily cut, shape, and model this surprisingly tactile material into some truly compelling sculpture such as my majestic sculpture Out of the Blue clearly demonstrates. Monumental in scale yet amazingly light, Out of the Blue is an assemblage of 81 individual sculptures that I cut and shaped out of a single piece of blue insulation board.
If you think you’re beginning to get the idea that I am onto something special, then I invite you to explore my website and see for yourself the incredibly diverse, materially inventive body of work that I’ve created over the course of my career.
I now live and work in Chestertown, Maryland. I have major public sculpture on display throughout the United States as well as in the Baltimore/Washington region including a monumental 60” by 144” bas-relief in bronze of President Monroe’s inauguration in the lobby of The Monroe Building at 2001 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington, a majestic pair of Great Blue herons (172” high) in bronze at Quiet Waters Park in Annapolis, Maryland and a large 60” in diameter bronze globe at Calvert School in Baltimore.“
A sample of what the experts on Peggy Guggenheim are saying about Pam Foss’s Art of this Century Gallery dynamic diorama.
“I did indeed see the dioramas—intriguing, enjoyable, even impressive. And I’m grateful for the attention they bring to Peggy and to Kiesler and to their story. Forgive the ignorance, or even ingenuousness—what does one do with them? They aren’t multiples for sale I don’t suppose? If the answer is: they are what they are, then they are splendid.”
Director, Peggy Guggenheim Collection
Guggenheim Foundation Director for Italy
“Pam, I am just amazed by the extraordinary work you did on the diorama of the AOTC Gallery! It looks meticulously done; you must be very skillful. Plus the whole diorama really brings the gallery to life; in many ways I like it better than the pop-up in the AOTC Gallery exhibit book. There’s something about a box…. Can you imagine how Peggy would have loved it?”
Author, Mistress of Modernism the Life of Peggy Guggenheim