An Artist’s Perspective: Patty Sgrecci and the “Interactive Dance” of Sculpture

“I have a linear style that incorporates mixed media, balancing color and form in an interactive dance,” Patty Sgrecci, a Vermont artist and Brandon Artist Guild member, says of her kinetic sculptures, a form of art for which she has won several awards and has placed in juried and invitational art shows.

As the name implies, kinetic sculpture incorporates movement and balance. Its birth is often credited to Alexander Calder, who, in the early twentieth century, crafted what many consider the first art mobile. “I’ve always liked art that does something,” Sgrecci says. Her three-dimensional works – some small enough to fit in the palm of your hand, others as large as 20 feet – do just that.

Sgrecci’s works do more than that, too. They incorporate theatre and much more. In college, Sgrecci was a theater major. Yet, she loved one of her art classes so much that she changed her major to fiber arts. In addition to sculpture, she learned weaving on and off the loom, papermaking, felting, and basketry. “The field incorporates a variety of mixed media and is the reason I search for ways to add texture to my work…I often incorporate translucent materials. I hand-paint and layer beautiful textured papers with plastic film to create triple-ply, glass-like elements that glow when illuminated by light. Wire adds line to a sculpture, while carved wood adds mass.”

Theatre is ever present in her work. “Kinetic sculptures marry art and theater, letting me orchestrate the movement of the elements like actors on a stage.” Much like the players on the stage are set in motion, so too do her sculptures set each of their component parts in motion, enchanting the viewer. Each sculpture is alive with tension that changes over time and with each viewing. She creates drama with sculpture, turning kinetic art into a play.

Nature is also a source of creative inspiration: light, air and gravity. She is drawn to natural shapes and textures, and is consistently drawn to leaf forms, informed by a childhood spent climbing up and playing in trees. “Sitting in the arms of a large maple tree, surrounded by the dappled light and shades of overlapping, rustling green leaves,” she recalls. Sgrecci captured those childhood feelings of wonder and awe in her work “Virtual Forest.”

It comes as no surprise then that her sculptures have been featured not only in galleries, homes, and public spaces, but also six children’s playrooms at the Boston Children’s Hospital.

Naturally, kinetic art needs to be seen in person to truly appreciate. We urge you to view Sgrecci’s work at the Brandon Artists Guild. View her Ginkgo mobile in motion to get a sense for what you will see in person. See more of her work by clicking here.