Stamford, CT – The ingenious inventions of sculptor – and SM&NC favorite – Steve Gerberich will be on view through Feb. 3, 2018, in a currently showing exhibit titled "Gerberich’s Gadgets: The Best of Springs, Sprockets & Pulleys” at Stamford Museum & Nature Center.
Working with old machine parts, kitchen utensils, furniture scraps, lighting fixtures, medical supplies, toys, and carnival figurines, Gerberich mixes the aesthetics of contemporary sculpture with the scientific principles of simple mechanical motion. It’s crazy fun!
The exhibition opened in the Stamford Museum Galleries with a free Community Reception on Friday, November 17. Last seen in Stamford in 2010, the exhibition features 14 large-scale kinetic sculptures and installations that bring together the “Best of” Steve Gerberich’s survey of work covering a 17-year span.
“We’re thrilled to have Steve Gerberich Gadgets back in our galleries; it’s the perfect holiday show for our Members and visitors,” says Melissa H. Mulrooney, Executive Director and CEO of the Stamford Museum & Nature Center.
Visitors of all ages will delight in seeing “The Painting Machine,” an ingenious animal factory where plastic giraffes get their spots, toy zebras are whitewashed and striped, and alligators are fitted with eyes. The Painting Machine is driven by one motor with all tasks supervised by a dozen toy gorillas.
Then there’s the “Birdhouse”: press the button and a light illuminates the interior of this crowded and active birdhouse. Colorfully painted wooden birds fly in circles in the background. In the foreground, birds hover with wings fashioned from a metal kitchen steamer and contemplate a nest of metal ball bearings.
What’s more, Stamford Museum is offering a special secondary attraction of working miniature trains. The Stamford Model Railroad Club has provided G-Scale LGB (“Lehmann Big Railway”) Garden trains that chug through the gallery and delights all train enthusiasts! Garden trains are larger model trains, at 1:22.5 scale that run on 45mm gauge outdoor track. These amazingly detailed trains may have some unusual passengers; come and see!
Gerberich’s Gadget fans: Please save the date for a special opportunity on Saturday, January 20, 2018 when the venue hosts its Gerb-o-Matic Workshop: Make-and-Take Sculpting Event. Over two sessions, Steve Gerberich will inspire and direct participants to sculpt their own mini-masterpieces from a smorgasbord of parts painstakingly culled from dumpsters, thrift shops, and dollar stores during Gerberich’s nationwide travels. Handmade sculptures will be assembled using hot glue “welding.” Children and adults can re-compose these objects into original works, while acquiring a new appreciation for the creative reuse of ordinary objects. Details for program sessions registration are available at www.stamfordmuseum.org.
If you are interested in registering for a session of the Gerb-o-Matic Workshop: Make-and-Take Sculpting Event on Saturday, January 20, 2018 please call 203.977.6521. Registration closes January 15, 2018, or earlier if all spaces are filled.
Session I: 10 am-12 pm, Session II: 1pm-3 pm.
Members: $40 for 1 adult and 1 child, $20 for each additional adult or child in party
Non-members: $55 for 1 adult and 1 child, $25 for each additional adult or child in party
Children must be age 8 or older and must be accompanied by an adult. Space is limited. Pre-payment and pre-registration are required. For non-members, gate admission is included in this price.
The Stamford Museum Galleries are open Monday-Saturday, 9 am–5 pm; Sundays, 11 am–5 pm. SM&NC Members are admitted free of charge; non-members with gate admission. For more information, please visit stamfordmuseum.org.
About the Artist
Steve Gerberich’s exposure to the arts came early, growing up in a close-knit Iowa family attuned to visual humor and puns. A sculptor with a B.F.A. from the University of Northern Iowa, Steve Gerberich began making art that moves when he relocated to New York City from Iowa in 1985. He set up his first motorized installation in the gallery-filled neighborhood of SoHo, convincing the owners of an abandoned factory to let him use their windows for display in exchange for cleaning the space. His work caught the attention of passers-by, including that of international art collectors and delighted art critics.
From a pack rat's treasure trove of motors, toys, and other bric-a-brac, Gerberich is an alchemist of odds and ends and always searching for possibilities .A self-proclaimed lover of hand tools or any useful invention without a power cord, his Newburgh NY studio is his own treasure trove of machine parts, motors, fixtures, lampshades, and armies of collectible figurines. He can often search his packed shelves for inspiration, where he turns discarded labor-saving devices into fantastical sculpture.
Gerberich’s mechanical sculptures have traveled around the world. Springs, Sprockets and Pulleys has been exhibited at the Stamford Museum and Nature Center in Stamford CT, Fresno Metropolitan Museum in California and the Berkshire Museum in Massachusetts as well as the Museum of Life and Science in Durham, NC, the Morris Museum in Morristown, NJ, the Waterloo Center for the Arts and Muscatine Art Center, both in Iowa and most recently at Science World in Vancouver BC. His Gerberich’s Gadgetry exhibit has also graced the Stamford Museum and Nature Center, the Morris Museum as well as Vermont’s Brattleboro Museum.
Stamford Museum & Nature Center
Stamford Museum & Nature Center, a 501(c) (3) not-for-profit organization, is dedicated to the preservation and interpretation of art and popular culture, the natural and agricultural sciences, and history. The Museum is a vital cultural and educational resource for the community, and a focal point for family activity and interaction, seeking to inspire creativity, foster self-discovery, promote environmental stewardship and nurture an appreciation for lifelong learning through exhibitions, educational programs, and special events that enhance the visitor’s experience of its unique site. Stamford Museum & Nature Center is located at 39 Scofieldtown Road, Stamford, CT (3/4 mile North of Merritt Parkway Exit 35.) For more information call 203.322.1646 or visit www.stamfordmuseum.org.