WV Artist on Display: Mountain Artworks

Get to know Michael Goose Sizemore, creator behind Mountain Artworks Studio in Athens, WV. Michael founded his studio in 1996 upon returning home to the mountain state after living and working in Santa Fe, New Mexico for 6 years. He has a fascination with the Anasazi pictographs and petroglyths of the American Southwest which are evident in all of his creative works: from small, copper wall hangings to monumental sculptures made of various metals. He says, “The linear elements of those ancient designs, as well as my love of the organic world, are two major themes in all of my art. I conceptualize in dreams, an engineer on paper, and produce in the welding shop.” Michael’s art used to be in galleries from WV to Hawaii. Today you can find his work in three places: his yard and home, Matrix Gallery in Blacksburg, and Tamarack (indoor and open-air sculpture garden), and some retail from time to time. Learn more about Michael with our Q&A:

How do you describe your palette?
My palette is metals of all forms and fashions. In some fashion, I have been producing metal sculpture for 30 years.

What is your greatest accomplishment?
My greatest accomplishment is having raised a child that genuinely LIKES me and having a life partner of 30 years that not only tolerates but celebrates my weirdness. We artists are an eccentric bunch.

What obstacles do you need to overcome to find your creative space/muse?
The world is full of items that get in the way of letting your body and mind relax enough to truly create without the stresses of the outside world. My biggest obstacle would most certainly be the dreaded smartphone. It has simplified my world and let’s face it, it gets the work that we artist create out into the world at a level that I never thought I could accomplish, yet turning it off and going about your business without interruption is a beautiful thing.

How do you find your inspiration? Most often I receive the inspiration for my works from the natural beauty that surrounds me. Mix in a bit of history, and the lines and the shapes start to flow. . I have found that every thought has a shape associated with it.

What advice do you have for other artists?
Don’t forget to give other things a try. It’s is the gathering of many skill sets that will make for a happier and well-balanced life as an artist. Gaining these skills will put you in contact with some of the most interesting people on the planet and those relationships are invaluable. My happiness comes from doing a mixture of several different things to accomplish the goal of designing and creating a sculpture. From design and engineering well before I even start cutting metal to the fabrication and finishing of a work, I rely on all of the education of my past endeavors and bring those into the present for a completed product.

What is your favorite piece(s) of art you’ve made and why?
The Beacon Series, these are a group of monumental sculptures that are derived from dreams and constructed by weaving and wrapping various metals over a structure or grid made from steel. (see attached photo)

How long have you been a Tamarack artist?
After living and producing art in Santa Fe NM for seven years, my family and I returned to my home state and I juried into Tamarack the fall of 1997. What an exciting time to be part of Tamarack! This led to many great connections with buyers from all over the nation and many of those returning year after year to Tamarack as well as to my studio looking for something in my style. Many of the larger pieces that I produce today are commissions for patrons that I have connected with through this great venture.

How do our readers contact you?
I may be reached at 304-384-9540 mountainartworksstudio@gmail.com Follow me on facebook and Instagram @mountainartworkstudio.

– HashtagWV #100, April 2018

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