Friday, September 19, 2008

Along with Jackie Hoyt, Ben and Kate Gatski of Gatski Metals have established a unique art practice working with found materials. Specializing in metal work, with an important emphasis on honoring agriculture through art, the Gatski’s have combined their passion for farming with their love of art making. "We believe in the importance of the farming," Kate Gatski said. "We respect the people who farm. We believe in honoring the tradition of producing food, particularly food which is grown in a natural system. It is a tradition we all share, yet it is given little attention."

Kate received her degree in Human Ecology at College of the Atlantic, in Bar Harbor, Maine. "In some ways sustainable agriculture is the ultimate meeting of ‘man and nature,’" Kate stated. With the combined hard work and creative minds of Kate and Ben, one can see that they impact not only the art community but they are also dealing with global issues, one of these being sustainable agricultural techniques. Another issue that the two focus on is organic dairy farming. Ben began this line of business at age nineteen when he bought a herd of dairy cows.

With their care for farming and sustainable practices, the two have found a distinctive balance between ecology and art. Their metal sculptures are expressive and have a strong sense of history. Their pieces begin by scouting their community and central Pennsylvania, visiting scrap yards, farms, machine shops, and machinery dealerships. They have worked with exterior parts from disabled hay mowers, tractors, combines, hay balers, and silage wagons. "Metal suits our personalities," Kate said, "it is very tough and very forgiving."

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About Mary Lou Zeek

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We represent Northwest artists working in a variety of media including painting, sculpture, works on paper, ceramics, jewelry and mixed media. Our second gallery features exhibitions on a monthly basis, as well as selected group shows and special exhibitions. To arrange an appointment, please call 503-581-3229 or email; During our years of operating, we have successfully encouraged the broadening and blossoming of the Salem art scene. We are dedicated to serving our clients as well as our artists. The relationships that we cultivate with our clients and our artists have been and will continue to be long and rewarding. We encourage you to take the time to be acquainted with us and take the time to appreciate the art we enjoy so much.