Pictured is artist David Knorr
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Building on Multiple Levels


Shea Stanfield
Arts Columnist

It has been said, “Whatever good things we build end up building us.” No doubt a statement local artist David Knorr can relate to. 

David was born and raised in Albion Michigan, a small town in lower Michigan, the home of small industry, farms, orchards, and a Liberal Arts College. David’s father was the son of a master carpenter and found the skills he learned, growing up, came in very handy when he was building a home for his family. David remembers, even before entering school, learning to cut lumber, drill holes and hammer in nails without damaging the wood or his fingers! This was the start of a vast skill set that would serve him well, not only building his own home years later, but in his manufacturing/aerospace career and now as a highly successful sculptor.

David recalls his first formal art training in second grade, when his parents provided private watercolor lessons for him. He became a promoter for the medium and got several other students in the school to sign up for lessons, as well. In later years, David would begin a program in architecture, based on his experience in the construction industry, but ended up shifting over to a Bachelors of Fine Arts curriculum with Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, Michigan. In 1978, he successfully completed his degree with a Sculpture major and a Ceramics minor. After graduation, David intended to go on for a Masters in Fine Arts but found it necessary to bring in an income. In the quest for a suitable MFA program, as well as a job, David and his wife moved to Phoenix, Arizona. Here he followed the dual path for a while, displaying his sculptures in local art fairs and galleries while working in the aerospace industry to pay the bills. It wasn’t long before the career took over and the creativity slid to the background.

Over the years David was growing up, his family traveled often to Arizona for summer vacations by way of Route 66. David was fascinated with the trading posts, the expanse of the ever-changing landscapes, and the long stretches of beautifully colored sands of the northern plateaus. He was especially impressed with the Petrified Forest and the Grand Canyon. Between that, and a constant supply of Arizona Highways Magazine around the house, Arizona was a logical step.

Retiring in 2013, David seized the opportunity to return to his first passion and become a full-time artist. Today, David works from his home studio, a converted RV garage that provides plenty of space for his ceramic totem constructions and woodcarvings. He also uses the classroom environment at Glendale Community College where he fires his high fire stoneware pieces. David is an active member with the Arizona Artist Guild in monthly critics, visiting studios, hosting and coordinating artist of the month activities and is now serving as VP of Exhibitions.

Nature provides David with constant inspiration; he takes ideas from the diverse environment, as well as the vast historical and social history of the west. Places like the Butchart gardens, Kew Gardens, Chiricahua Mountains and Monument Valley have all been subjects of his work over the years. David exhibits his work throughout the Southwest, as well as many local venues. He has a piece on long-term loan at the Shemer Arts Center on Camelback Road and East Arcadia Lane (48th Street) in Phoenix, he exhibits with the Sonoran Arts League several times a year at the Desert Foothills Library in Cave Creek, and is scheduled to have a number of pieces at Sky Harbor International Airport in Phoenix now through May 2018.

David also welcomes visits to his studio by appointment for individuals interested in the process of his production. Artist/Sculptor David Knorr can be contacted by phone at 602-292-1615, by email at dave_knorr@hotmail.com, and via his website at www.davidknorr.com.   

Contact Arts Columnist Shea Stanfield at flowingquill@yahoo.com.