I have a passion for design, multiple materials and their processes—and working with my hands. For more than thirty- years my focus has been on designing for specific spaces. Whether that space is architectural or environmental, I approach the design challenge with deliberate consciousness, choosing design elements and materials that fit the site and work in harmony with the environmental context.
My degree is in Industrial Design from Art Center College of Design in Pasadena, California, where I was lucky enough to study under some incredible designers (including Buckminster Fuller ) and work with visionary corporations, like PPG Glass, Texas Instruments. Specializing in sculpture was a lucky coincidence. After designing a nine piece commemorative sculpture for the Beta West/US West merger, I fell in love with the process and began to explore the limitless possibilities of materials and form that sculpture offers—and my journey began.
I spent the early part of my independent career as a professional sculptor, working mostly in marble, limestone, and fiberglass, with projects ranging from small scale stone carvings to large stone sculptures and reliefs. Many were created as commissions for individuals; others for sale in galleries in Colorado, Arizona, New Mexico, and Wisconsin; some for public spaces (University of Denver, Bloomfield Colorado Community Center). During this period I also enjoyed teaching at the Art Students League in Denver and the summer-long MARBLE/marble Symposium in Marble Colorado, where I have been on the faculty for 26 years.
Most of my art during these early years emerged as thematic series, often reflecting stages in my life journey:
Couples—figures in various stages of connection, carved mostly in Yule marble over several years when relationship challenges preoccupied my energy and spirit.
Faces—reflecting the many different faces women put on daily as they negotiate their complex roles and relationships.
Cindy—angels, torsos, women, sisters—expressions of grief and celebrations of life in stone, wire, airblock and other materials.
Women in Transition—images of women like me, discovering their path to self-understanding, empowerment, and independence.
Water Ways—flowing forms that seem to have no beginning or ending, only continuous movement, created when my life was in a state of perpetual motion.
Vessels—strong granite shells that protect hidden human vulnerabilities and secret strengths.
Seeds—playful organic forms that mimic nature and express the mystery and exuberance of bursting into new life.
Perhaps creating sculpture has been a form of art therapy for me all along!
For the past decade my creative energies have shifted more and more toward public art projects, designing and engineering the project, overseeing construction and installation of thematic sculptures, both small and monumental, in a wide variety of materials (familiar and exotic stone, steel, concrete, mixed media, and landscape). I now work primarily with architects, cites, universities, and private corporations designing sculptures for site-specific locations. My background in industrial design and love for materials of all sorts allows me freedom to move beyond stone carving to design for the space—not just the material. I feel very fortunate to be able to work as an artist in a field I love and where I can invest myself, body, mind and spirit in designing sculpture that reflects the values I cherish and allows me to encourage the viewing public to ponder important issues and ideals.
Looking to the future, I trust I will continue to evolve as an artist and continue to design sculpture and spaces that engage individuals and communities in celebrating beauty in all creation, cherishing connections with one another, and honoring people and events that have shaped their lives.
Kathi CaricofCosta Mesa, California, April 2017
Catalog notes from a recent show in Loveland, Colorado, January 30 – April 10, 2016
Momentum: Women Drive the Arts in Loveland
featuring Kathleen Caricof, Jane DeDecker, Glenna Goodacre,
Kirsten Kokkin, and Rosetta
Five women who were and continue to be influential in the development of Loveland as an art center and creating a reputation for excellence in art.
This show provides a glimpse of several defining moments of my journey as a sculptor. The various series of work represented here reflect emotional themes, the power of relationships, my thoughts about the world, the meaning of life, my exploration of artistic styles, my fascination with many materials.
All carved in stone—from my heart.
—Kathi Caricof, January 2016