Mark Beltchenko is a Detroit-area sculptor that is highly skilled in multiple media. Equally comfortable working in stone, steel, aluminum, wood and the non-ferrous metals, his work serves as a meditation on the good and bad in our current lives: the environment, political hypocrisy, positive growth, greed and human narcissism. His imagery communicates messages in ways that are both primitive and profound; both sweeping and diminutive.
Beltchenko selected the title “SOS” (or “. . . _ _ _ . . .” in Morse code), for this collection of his work. The code is often used to denote phrases such as “Save Our Ship” or “Save our Souls”, messages he found reverberating through these sculptures that date back as early as 2006 to as recent as May 2020.
Beltchenko is not a loud or verbose man, but his work screams at us with a dire urgency. That is not to say that his work is obvious, rather, it is not. It requires effort. One must spend time with the work and breathe into it. You may not immediately recognize the discourse; however, allow yourself to linger and as you linger the layers begin to unfold and reveal their meticulous detail and dialogue.
And it is through both that inner dialogue as well as dialogue with others that this exhibition seeks to promote reflection on our country’s past as well as its present day. One can consider things from the artist’s perspective, or from their own. Exploring different ideas through art is an important part of processing the human experience and however our ideas and experiences may align or differ.