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Dale Wedig: Mentalsmith

Dale WedigHANCOCK, MI – “Dale Wedig: Mentalsmith,” is featured at the Finlandia University Gallery, located in the Finnish American Heritage Center, Hancock, from June 7 to July 20, 2012.

An opening reception for the artist will take place at the gallery Thursday, June 7, 7:00 to 8:30 p.m. The reception is free and open to the public. Refreshments will be served.

Controlled and complicated, whimsical and expressive, even sophisticated and naïve: these contradictory statements capture the essence of Dale Wedig’s artwork.

Ranging in size from jewelry to architectural installations, his work incorporates metal processes from blacksmithing, welding, and casting to sheet-forming, fabrication, and foundry applications.

Whether it’s sculpture, furniture, hollow ware, or jewelry, Wedig’s art celebrates the melding of form and function. The inherent qualities of the metals he uses-strength, luster, and density-provide physical and visual testimonies, while his hands provide the Artwork by Dale Wedigobject’s character.

Art-making can be described as the physical and mental labor involved in creating an object from an idea, and the end result can be very satisfying.

For Wedig, however, it is the activity and struggle of the art-making process that is most inspiring.

“Experiencing an idea becoming a real object that started in your head, and that and your hands built is a measure of the accountability of your life,” Wedig reflects.

“Life without labor is guilt,” Wedig adds. “I like to keep busy recording my lifetime by making tangible objects from the ideas that float through my head.”

“Making art is no more or less than having faith in what is unknown, and having the desire to take the opportunity to create something you find difficult to explain,” Wedig says.

Artwork by Dale WedigWedig is a professor of art and design at Northern Michigan University, Marquette, and for 28 years has been head of the metalsmithing and sculpture departments there.

He has a bachelor of science in physical education and art education from the University of Wisconsin, a master’s of art in jewelry and metalsmithing from Iowa State University, and a master’s of fine arts from Arizona State University.

His work has been exhibited in galleries and museums throughout the United States.

“Dale Wedig: Mentalsmith” is on display at the Finlandia University Gallery through July 20, 2012.

The Finlandia University Gallery is in the Finnish American Heritage Center, 435 Quincy Street, Hancock. Gallery hours are Monday to Friday 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., or by appointment.

For additional information, contact gallery director Carrie Flaspohler at 906-487-7500 or

Photo Cutlines:

Photo 1:  Dale Wedig, Artist

Photo 2:  Dale Wedig, Aluminum Table, Red Line, 2004, 36″ x 42″ x 24″, Aluminum and Rubber