Roger Colombik

Information

Biography

I live in the Texas Hill Country with my wife and artistic collaborator Jerolyn Bahm-Colombik. Keeping us company are two feisty terriers and a never-ending parade of wildlife. We built our home (almost complete) and our studio provides us with a bountiful playground for creative activities. My childhood was spent frolicking in Lake Michigan and screaming in Wrigley Field with my father as we followed the tragic/comic exploits of the Cubs and Bears. My mom taught the neighborhood kids to draw and carve bars of ivory soap so in many ways I lay the responsibility of my career and life choices at her feet.

Roger Blakely (University of Illinois), Thomas Walsh (Southern Illinois University) and Elliot Balter (Niles North High School) have been my primary mentors and I am ever grateful for their patience, guidance and insight. Their working example of artist/educator has been a major influence. I have been teaching sculpture at Texas State University in San Marcos for twenty-five years and I continue to be amazed and to draw inspiration from the profound and diverse creative exploits of the students.

Artist Statement

I am interested in creating visual environments that soften the flight of time for the viewer, providing a place where personal narratives extend towards a universal, communal dialogue. The serpentine relationship between memory and history plays out through numerous investigations that include:

Through these aesthetic iterations I try to uncover the space where sculpture becomes the breath of memory.

My work as a photographer reflects research in the development of civil societies. Rooted in the tradition of documentary studies, the projects are presented in contemporary formats that include large-scale photography (banners), video, writings, installation and intervention. The work is borne from my interaction with individuals and communities and involves an immersive approach – settling into a place to listen and observe. Concepts and aesthetics are developed from this interaction and the projects are collaborative in nature as I include artists and interested community members in the work. The results are often presented in public places to achieve a maximum impact for community discourse on pertinent issues.

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