Name: Sam Spiczka

Sculpture: Nexus

Artist Statement: 

The Driftless region is both present in modern time and an ancient bridge to the past. Nexus is both a thoroughly Modern work in it's sensibility and yet it harkens back to a prehistoric time untouched by human hands. It seems to have sprung from a land both familiar and alien, perfectly at home in the Driftless region

The gently rolling hills at the edge of the prairie are composed of the blackest of soils, fertile and unforgiving. It’s hard to underestimate the impact this landscape has had upon me. That darkness is my foundation.  Here, death is cultivated as readily as new life. Each spring, like clockwork, the darkness awakens and brings forth the lush green of fertile fields and forests. Each fall, the green fades and turns to rust, lying dormant once again.

It took a long time for me to realize the influence of this place.  I see now that I attempt to evoke the same immediacy as well as inevitability in my work.  And I realize that the conflict I experience here is the anxiety one feels upon burrowing deeper into a place—and into oneself.  Like the crushing cold of a winter wind, it cannot be denied, it can only be endured. 

I cultivate my sculptures like a careful farmer, invoking the forms of nature because they are my kin.  Using industrial fabrication skills, I impart to them a reality beyond my limited understanding. To do this requires not only consideration but craft as well.

True craftsmanship is not empty flourish but a way of understanding - the type of understanding that can only come through experience and careful attention. Hands have their own intelligence, and the memory of their labor is vital to the character of the final piece.

Artist Bio

Inspired by natural bone forms, rural technology, and geometric structure, Sam Spiczka has produced an unsettling body of work that is both modern and intensely primal, public yet deeply personal. Born and raised in rural Minnesota, Spiczka became captivated by metal early on through the experience of working at his family’s welding shop. Though he briefly studied art and philosophy at Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, MN, his true education has come from Nature, the example of past sculptors, and the craftsmanship of his father. His award winning sculptures have been exhibited nationally – including at DeCordova Museum and Sculpture Park, the Rochester Art Center and Franconia Sculpture Park – and can be found in many public and private collections.


Fabricated Cor-ten steel, stainless steel and wood.

Dimensions: 6.5 ft x 10.5 ft x 7.5 ft  600 lbs