Let There Be Light: UW-Stout Prof Gets Prestigious Art Grant
Lume receives $25,000 from Gottlieb Foundation for his ephemeral light-based installations
A major, worldwide grant has been awarded to a UW-Stout professor to help continue his exploration of light and how it interacts with the everyday objects of our world.
Charles Matson Lume, who teaches in UW-Stout’s School of Art and Design, has received a $25,000 award from the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation of New York. He was one of 20 artists from around the world out of 705 who applied to receive the Individual Support Grant.
To qualify for the award, applicants needed 20 years of experience and had to submit images documenting their work over the course of their careers.
Lume has worked directly with light as a material for 24 years and indirectly for 30 years. A visual artist, his work highlights the interplay and intersections of light and matter, allowing the matter – or objects that we encounter daily – to speak in a sense.
In 2008 he began to place objects on the floor and “had their image arise via light’s reflection or refraction. I continue to believe restraint and patience provide powerful guidance. Throughout all of this, my art has been shaped by poetry, beauty, and a commitment to making ephemeral light installations.”
Lume, of St. Paul, is indirectly following a path forged in the 1960s by California artists like Robert Irwin and James Turrell, who worked with light.
However, he has branched off to consider “material culture and how light interacts with it. Quotidian material is always around us and we are mostly unconscious of it. Often, we just throw it away. I’m curious what it might say provided the right lighting conditions.”
His installations have been featured recently at the Minnesota Museum of American Art in Minneapolis; St. Catherine University in St. Paul; and at the Hearst Center for the Arts in Cedar Falls, Iowa.
Lume has Master of Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees in painting and drawing from UW-Madison.