For much of human history, a son was expected to follow in his father’s footsteps. Erick Wiger gave the long-standing formula a twist. He became an artist, and he credits some of the influence for that career decision to his mother, Jeanne, who counts art among her many vocational and avocational pursuits.
Mother and son will be featured in a joint exhibition that opens October 30 at the Undercroft Gallery, located in St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church. This is a first for Jeanne and Erick, as well as for the Undercroft.
For Erick, “Having an artist as a parent has an inevitable influence. She was always encouraging and she exposed me to a whole world that many people just get to glimpse. I eventually had to find my own path separate from what my mother was doing. Ultimately, though, she taught me to see the world differently than others, which is a gift I will always treasure.”
As a sculptor and glass artist, he finds that the two media regularly inform each other.
“I find that I’m increasingly interested in bringing some of the fluidity and spontaneity of the glass into my ceramics and some of the textural elements of the ceramic pieces into my glass work,” he says.
Erick’s work has also been influenced by his interest in geology.
“I love rock formations,” he says. “The textures, colors and forms that both pristine and eroded rocks and landscapes have are constantly informing my work.”
Jeanne Wiger, besides being an artist, is an art educator and therapist, author, marriage and family therapist, and life coach. Her art takes many forms, including collage, watercolor, printmaking and sculpture. Recurrent themes in her art reflect her commitment to spirituality, human development, native cultures and nature.
“I believe the visual arts should serve as a springboard viewers can use to enrich their lives and deepen their understanding of themselves, God and the world around them,” she says. “Art helps people search and probe for meanings that otherwise might have been missed.”
The Wigers’ Undercroft exhibition will continue through December 1, and is free and open to the public. The gallery, located at Carter and Chelmsford avenues in St. Anthony Park, is open Tuesday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. For more information, call 645-3058.