Denis Versweyveld | Stilleven

Denis Versweyveld | Stilleven

Stilleven

“Stilleven” is the Flemish word for still life. For Denis Versweyveld, still life has been and continues to be, a window to respond to and make sense of his immediate world.  His process involves looking and re-looking at the spaces that he occupies, and the objects that surround him. The objects he chooses are mostly ordinary things that are seen together or separately, stimulate a response, and through imaginative efforts are transformed and reborn anew.  This new entity is a metaphor for things that, like life itself, are both fragile and resilient. His overall intention is to pay tribute to daily life and the importance of the physical surroundings in which we live.   The work provides a respite from the chaos and stress of our threatened environment, political chaos, and social upheaval.

Denis Versweyveld | Biography

Denis Versweyveld’s family came to the US from Flanders, the Flemish-speaking northern part of Belgium. His parents were both born in Belgium and have maintained strong ties with his Flemish relatives. At an early age, he began inventing toys, building private spaces, and learning to use tools for artmaking.  Growing up on a dairy farm, the spacious post and beam barn became a stimulating playground.  His memories of light streaming through barn boards and reflecting off of multiple whitewashed interior surfaces still resonate today.  The renovation of his early 19th century (circa 1814) home was followed by the conversion of a late 18th century (circa 1795) building into his current home, whose interior walls and ceilings were made of plaster over strips of wood, called lath, which fostered his use of plaster and lath as a sculpture making process. His study of art at SUNY New Paltz, NY, and Cranbrook Academy of Art, Bloomfield Hills, MI, led to 7 years of teaching art in public schools in New York and Connecticut. Upon completion of his MFA at Indiana University, he joined the art faculty of the University of Vermont where he taught classes in drawing and sculpture and was Director of the Art Education program.

Recognition and awards for Versweyveld’s work include a teaching fellowship at Indiana University and three individual Creation Grants from the Vermont Arts Council. His work has been shown in solo and group shows in several colleges and art galleries throughout the Mid-West, East, and Southern United States, including Indiana University, Ball State University, The Hood Museum of Art, The Fleming Museum of Art, and the Tampa Museum of Art. His work has been reviewed in Art New England and Sculpture magazine.  Versweyveld’s solo show at Axel’s Gallery, Waterbury VT was named one of the “Ten Best Art Exhibits of 2023” by Seven Days.  His work is included in numerous private collections in the US and Europe. Versweyveld was born and grew up in New York State and now lives in Vergennes, Vermont.

 

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