Blue sky thunder days

Sculpture & Photography by Steve Gurysh (’06)

for the annual Homecoming Exhibition at stArt


Each year the stArt Gallery celebrates the achievements of successful alumni from the arts with a solo exhibition that overlaps with Wake Forest University’s Homecoming. stArt is proud to welcome back Steve Gurysh (‘06) to share his sculptures and photography in the 2021 Homecoming exhibition.

“Blue sky thunder days is a solo exhibition by Steve Gurysh, presenting three distinct but intersecting bodies of work, each illuminating the erratic, causal relationships within a global ecological crisis. Speaking to a time of accumulating and disassociated anxieties, Blue sky thunder days reverberates through distant and hyperlocal circumstances:  “

“The Long Cloud (2013) presents a confounding photographic object produced from a sample of uranium ore found in the South Island of New Zealand. Using a process called a uranotype (due to its radioactive content) the image depicts the ceremonial burial of a ship named the Rainbow Warrior as taken by NZ photographer Gil Hanley. Parts per trillion (2019) presents the culmination of a period of research meticulously documenting and reproducing a pile of graffitied river rocks found along the banks of the Bow River in Calgary, Canada. Finally, his most recent and ongoing project, Blue sky thunder days (2021) presents a series of cyanotype reproductions of archival images of the functionally extinct American chestnut tree, and a computer-controlled carving of an emerald ash borer infested ash tree planted at a biological field station at the University of Kansas.”

“Amidst these wildly different phenomena, each work explores how digital processes can parasitize, cross-contaminate, and hybridize the sculptural object and the photographic image. Throughout the exhibition, the viewer encounters an array of translations between analog and digital processes, moving from archival photographs to alternative process printing, photogrammetric 3D scans to computer-aided design, and digitally fabricated objects using a variety of techniques in 3D printing and machining. “


About the artist:

Steve Gurysh is an interdisciplinary artist who uses sculpture, digital media, and temporary interventions in public spaces to reimagine ecological and economic contexts and behavior. His project-based works compress expansive narratives into potent objects and experiences, often containing wild materialities and speculative relationships to time and place. His practice is uniquely dialogic and often made in correspondence with scientists, engineers, other artists, and non-human participants. 

He has been the recipient of numerous awards and fellowships, including residencies at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts, the Watershed+ Dynamic Environment Lab and the Frank-Ratchye STUDIO for Creative Inquiry. He has exhibited his work at Contemporary Calgary in Canada; the Knockdown Center in Queens, New York; W139, Amsterdam; El Museo de la Ciudad, Santiago de Quer‌‌étaro, Mexico; Soci‌ét‌é des arts technologiques, Montréal; The Engine Room in Wellington, New Zealand; and in the center of the Allegheny River. 

Gurysh earned his BA from Wake Forest University in 2006, his MFA from Carnegie Mellon University in 2013 and is currently an Associate Professor of Sculpture in the Department of Visual Arts at the University of Kansas.

More Information