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"Up & Coming Artist Series" Presents George Sopko
March 28, 2011
The John G. & Beverly A. Puente Library welcomes visitors to its "Up & Coming Artist Series" on March 29, at Noon to view the work George Sopko. The Capitol student will be exhibiting his sculptures during the event and in the weeks following the series.
Large insects sculpted out of steel rods, rings, bolts and nuts, Sopko created his pieces while attending a welding workshop class at DC Glassworks, a public glassblowing and sculpture facility in Hyattsville, Md. The junior from Alexandria, Va., was inspired by shows like American Chopper,”where motorcycles are custom built and designed, often with unique requests.
“In my sculpture I try to contrast between the organic, natural world and static nature of the material I use for my sculpture by attempting to create a movement in my work via shape, form and position,” Sopko said. “The goal of this is to trigger a memory effect and one will recognize the work as what it depicts and not just a mass of metal stuck together.”
Prior to his work, Sopko had some experience with photography but had never sculpted until his workshop classes. After learning the basics, he first sculpted an ant from steel. After a few other creations, Sopko began working on a millipede, which became his most time-consuming piece.
“There were 80 hours of fabrication time that went into [the millipede],” Sopko said. “I started by finding a millipede and counting all the legs. Most of the time was spent making the individual parts, and then about eight hours was spent welding them all together.”
His attention to detail is captured in his work, as nearly 200 metal legs jut out of dozens of the core rings of the millipede.
While Sopko has been averaging about one sculpture a year, he plans on changing his focus away from insects. With no plans set in stone, the Capitol junior is looking anywhere for his next piece of inspiration.
During the "Up and Coming Artist Series" event, guests will have a chance to ask Sopko about his sculptures, how he creates his work, or simply share ideas with the artist.
11301 Springfield Road
Laurel, Maryland 20708