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Using birds as a point of departure for his welded sculptures, Don Rambadt explores the relationship of positive and negative space and manipulates this interplay to give the impression of life and movement in his work. Although somewhat abstract, his artwork is firmly based on anatomical accuracy and fidelity to his subject’s character. “I feel you should have an intimate understanding of your subject matter before you attempt to abstract it. This allows you to select which characteristics to emphasize or deemphasize to portray your subject truthfully, without extraneous clutter.”
After completing his BFA in sculpture (1993–1995) and a summer print-making workshop in Florence, Italy (1995), Rambadt began sculpting part-time while partnering in the establishment of Vanguard Sculpture Services, a full- service sculpture foundry in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, where he specialized in the casting and fabrication of monumental bronze sculptures. In 1997, he began to focus on the development of his artwork and in 2001 left the foundry business to pursue sculpting and exhibitions full-time. While making this transition, Rambadt also taught an introduction to welded sculpture course at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, which he taught throughout the early 2000s, and again in 2019.
In addition to his professional experience as a sculptor, artisan, and teacher, Rambadt has volunteered with several organizations that have given him unique, hands-on experience with birds, including many years banding young falcons with the Wisconsin Peregrine Society (1992–2002, and again in 2019) and as a bird taxidermist at the Milwaukee Public Museum (1992–1994). He is also an avid bird watcher and holds a Master class falconry permit.
During the past two decades, Rambadt has exhibited his sculptures across the United States and abroad. He received the Master Artist Medal from the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in 2017, has public placements in seven states, and his work can be found in museums and private collections around the world.
“I sculpt because I enjoy the challenge of manipulating space; I choose birds as my subject matter because they fascinate me to no end.”
Don Rambadt is represented by Astoria Fine Art, Jackson, Wyoming; Bronze Coast Gallery, Cannon Beach, Oregon; and Gallery by the Lakes, Dorchester, England.