Charlie Brouwer

Willis, VA

Charlie Brouwer returns for the 3rd Annual Downtown Sculpture Trail by sharing another one of his works, "Duplexity".

DuplexityThis sculpture, weighing 200 pounds, is created entirely of locust wood that Brouwer finds on his property. Installed at Horne Square on Main Street, this piece stands 6.1 feet tall. "Duplexity" is one of 7 sculptures in an ongoing series Brouwer calls "Homebodies."

"The idea of home is one of our most rich, deep, complex, and emotionally charged concepts," said Brouwer. "In thinking about different kinds of homes, I came across the duplex. When I turned it into a figure I thought it was humorous, but it also made me think of some of the negative things that homes can be associated with. You could say that I am of "two minds" about this sculpture!"

Brouwer's first piece in our 2nd annual Downtown Sculpture trail was a huge hit for Hocutt-Ellington Memorial Library. "He Turned and Stopped to See and Listen" was a life-size man on the lawn of the library that seemed to be pausing to listen to a train passing through our downtown. We miss him!

Charlie BrouwerCharlie Brouwer has been creating art since 1968 and says he still feels like he's just getting started. His work ranges from small indoor gallery pieces to large outdoor sculptures to both indoor and outdoor installations and public art projects. Drawing from personal experiences, beliefs and feelings, he re-experiences life through art by looking for evidence of beauty, truth, goodness, honesty, mercy, hope and generosity that transcends the doubt, darkness, isolation, suffering and fear that are also part of life.

Wood is his main material when constructing sculptures. In attempting to expand the possibilities of public art, he has worn a backpack sculpture to a public art conference, made book sculptures for a library to be shelved and checked out, and made temporary installations about communities out of ladders they lent him. When it comes to imagination, Brouwer's seems endless!

Born in Holland, MI, Brouwer now lives in Floyd County in the Blue Ridge Mountains of rural southwest Virginia in a 100-year-old farmhouse that he and his wife, Glenda, have renovated. Nine acres of open fields and woods, with 20 outdoor sculptures placed along a half-mile walking trail, surround the house and studio. Brouwer calls their place "Out There" because of its remote location at the end of a 1.5-mile gravel road, but also because he believes that art can point us toward thoughts, feelings and meanings beyond our immediate experience. Check out more about Brouwer's work!