Joel Hotchkiss, American (1949 - )
Joel Hotchkiss was born in 1949 in Torrington, CT. He was raised in Sherman, Connecticut and later lived in Mt. Vernon, NY while his father worked on Madison Avenue as a 1960’s “Ad-man”. Being from a creative family he pursued a career in art, photography and film at Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY graduating in 1972 with a BFA degree in Advertising Design and Communication. He worked as an Art Director after college and moving to Boston in 1973.
In 1976 he began exploring kinetic art by making numerous mobiles and filling the ceiling of his Beacon Street apartment. The “art of mobiles” was consuming his interests. Mobiles combined all the skills he felt creatively: design, balance, color, composition and the wide use of materials. With this newfound passion he relocated in 1978 to the West Coast to Oakland, California to fully dedicate his life to mobiles.
The early 1980's in the Bay Area were a very dynamic and exciting period for Joel. He commuted daily from Oakland to San Rafael in Marin County where he perfected the art of mobile making at a studio/workshop called Kinetic Objects. He taught himself welding and metal working techniques working with a range of metals such as Copper, Brass, Aluminum, Steel and Stainless Steel as well as introducing plastics and fabric applications into his work.
"On Fridays I would head down across the Golden Gate Bridge into San Francisco and deliver my mobiles to a Gallery in Ghirardelli Square, pick up a check for mobiles that sold and then return home to Oakland".
"Designing and creating contemporary mobiles for over 30 years has been a rewarding artistic journey. Mobiles are an intriguing sculptural art form where balance, motion, materials, scale, color and form must all be considered in a finished design. I continuously seek new concepts for my mobiles drawing on creative impulses from experience that result in innovative approaches that can reveal new styles, balancing techniques and uses of materials."
“I believe mobiles add life and energy to interior living spaces. The viewer either directly or subliminally picks up on the balance and movement that is occurring. Like a companion that just performs in time and space and effortlessly continues in motion… requiring no energy source besides the wafts of ambient air that pass through the room.”
Joel has designed an impressive line of mobile designs over the years for both indoors and out. Many are sold in Galleries and Museum Stores nationwide including San Francisco MOMA and the Guggenheim Museum and the National Gallery in Washington, DC. He also creates larger mobile commissions for residential and commercial spaces.
Currently Joel works with his wife Sandra and two assistants at their Studio/Workshop and Art Gallery located in West Stockbridge, MA.