Charlie Brouwer is an artist in search of beauty truth and goodness – actively making and exhibiting art with 300+ exhibitions nationally and internationally since 1976. His work includes small and large constructed wood sculptures, installations, and community engagement public art projects. Brouwer lives and works in Floyd County, Virginia where his studio and its surrounding sculpture trail are always open by appointment. He taught high school art for 13 years in Australia and Michigan and was a Professor of Art at Radford University in Virginia for 20 years.
Winged Victory, 2021
Sawmill scrap wood, paint, and screws
When I was in grade school in Michigan in the 1950’s I learned from my geography book that Roanoke, VA is the “Star City of the South”. I didn’t know then that I was going to leave Michigan some 30 years later to live near the “Star City”. In 2008, the Roanoke community created “Rise Up Roanoke” with borrowed ladders to build a sculpture in the Taubman Museum. The idea was that each ladder represented the hopes and dreams of its lender and by tying them all together – leaning on and supporting each other, we’d have an image of a connected, interdependent community.
The sculpture needed to take some form and I could think of nothing else than a big star. Stars appear frequently in my work. They are constant reminders of the scale and beauty of our universe – as Laurie Anderson says ” the reason I love the stars is because we can’t hurt them: we can’t burn them, we can’t melt them….”
So – it is no wonder that in thinking about what I could make about “A New Life: Reimagining Roanoke” – I once again come up with a star. It is a reimagined star – a winged star ready to take flight like the famous “Winged Victory” Greek sculpture in the Louvre Museum.