Three-dimensional art is making waves and encouraging artists and collectors to get creative

Installation by Bradley Sabin. Photo courtesy Ann Connelly Fine Art.

With artists constantly pushing the envelope, their pieces are popping right off the walls. Three-dimensional art is the less-traditional way to bring whimsical updates and textural intrigue to flat spaces, and it is increasingly finding a place in Baton Rouge homes.

Chelsea Norris, co-director at Ann Connelly Fine Art, says she was inspired to explore sculptural art several years ago. She used to view three-dimensional pieces as something risky and expensive, but Dana LaFonta, then-director of the Percent For Art program (part of Louisiana’s Office of Cultural Development), encouraged her to push the boundaries.

“She gave us a really good challenge that I’m thrilled we rose to the occasion for, and I really credit her with being the local person that encouraged us to keep going,” Norris says.

Now, the gallery displays work from several artists who incorporate structural elements and unique media into their work. According to Norris, three-dimensional art promotes interaction and creates an experience, as opposed to just a visual detail. A piece may look different depending on your viewing angle, for example, and patterns and textures may shift as you look closer. Viewers, galleries and artists alike are exploring the freedom that this reinvigorated movement in art provides.

“Silver Animals and Insects” by Joe Walters. Photo courtesy Ann Connelly Fine Art.

“It’s just fun to watch that evolution develop, whether for galleries and clients looking for that type of work, or for the artists themselves, expanding their mark by changing their media or using 3D printing,” says Norris. “I mean, there are just so many things. These days, you’re not just a painter.”

Take South Carolina-based artist Joe Walters, for example. He took his work from paper to sculpture, and now utilizes organic patterns and forms to create three-dimensional works that incorporate light and shadow.

Norris says that this trend in art is creating an exciting new era, both for creators and collectors.

“I’m always really excited when I have someone come in with the intention of breaking that boundary and creating something that’s really unique,” she says.


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