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Brad Sells

(n.d.) lives in Cookeville
Storm Blanket, n.d.
wood carved sculpture, 30 x 35 x 21 inches, 2015.65.10

“My sculptural works stem the belief that all matter has the kiss of the creator and all living things have a soul. This primal cultural philosophy is the root of my creative process and the basis of my aesthetic design. Through a dedicated process, I seek to convey motion, direction and balance; comparing free-form techniques to the art of the Bonsai. A primarily reductive style exposes the inherent beauty of growth and experience, which becomes my inspiration for both the organic and architectural elements of my vessel forms. This balance of the organic and the architectural has been an ever-mounting focus in my practice inspiring me to branch out by combining wood with steel, resins, and found objects in an exploration of material relationships in my developing work.” – Sells

Sells has a long history of creating masterful wooden works. Since 1999 he has been the proprietor of Bark Studio where he continues to be inspired to finding the form hidden in the wood.  In 2016, the Hospital Corporation of America commissioned him to develop and design a twelve-foot tall sculpture inspired by the Cumberland River titled Oxbows and Meanders. He also designed and constructed Cookeville’s first large-scale public arts project, Spokes. In 2018 he participated as a master in the Master Artist Apprenticeship Program collaboration between the Tennessee Arts Commission and Tennessee Craft to encourage and invest in the continuation, advancement and creation of Tennessee craft through recognizing the role of the master craft artist and apprentice relationship as a way to preserve the state’s cultural heritage.

His work is represented in the permanent collections of the Smithsonian Institution, Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C.; the Fuller Craft Museum in Brockton, MA; Detroit Institute of Art in Detroit, MI, Museum of Art & Design in New York, NY; Addison Museum of American Art in Andover, MA; Mobile Museum of Art in Mobile, AL; Cincinnati Museum of Art in Cincinnati, OH, Knoxville Museum of Art in Knoxville, TN; Living Heritage Museum in Athens, TN, University of Michigan Museum of Art in Ann Arbor, MI; Tennessee State Museum in Nashville, TN; Racine Art Museum in Racine, WI; and the Peabody Essex Museum in Salem MA.