Art In The Valley Gallery
209 SW 2nd Street
Corvallis Oregon 97333
Tuesday - Saturday 10:00 - 5:30
May 2017 Featured Artist
Metal sculptures by Merrill Sommers
Reception Thursday May 18th, 4 - 8 pm during the Corvallis Arts Walk
Merrill Sommers is a woodworker and metal artist whose welded sculptures convey movement and joy with a winking sense of humor.
While earning his teaching degree at OSU in the 1970s, Merrill channeled any extra time and energy he had into more artistic pursuits, such as woodworking, silk screening, photography, and pick-up basketball. After graduating, Merrill embarked on a 30-year career as a millwright and machinist working at plants and factories in Benton and Linn counties. Through this profession, Merrill’s curiosity and passion for working with his hands led him to experiment with the various materials he encountered at his places of work – such as fiberglass and titanium.
Upon retiring, Merrill began using his newfound free time and the materials he had collected over the years in artistic projects that included building wooden fireplace bellows, welding a series of titanium-adorned faces, and rebuilding a 1967 Porsche Targa 911.
In his metal work, Merrill likes to take objects from manufacturing or daily life and reinterpret them through his sculptures. When not working in his shop and listening to the Blazers or Beavers on the radio, Merrill likes to spend time with his kids and grandson.