David Middlebrook

The Nature of Things: Making Thought Visible

June 19th – 23rd, 2017

This workshop will present numerous techniques for sculpture making with a variety of materials, as well as share David’s experience of being a professional sculptor over a forty-year career. The class will include presentations, hands-on demonstrations, and group interaction. David will discuss his development of public art, gallery and museum interactions, exhibiting internationally, and concept development as related to process. Participants will work on sculptures with a variety of materials. David will show you various ways to use materials, with an emphasis on process techniques, guiding students to lead you to find new solutions to your work and thought processes.

David wants to inspire participants to explore and experiment, in order to find their own personal voice within image development. The demonstrations and discussions about making art and building a career around it, will be uplifting to the spirit, will stimulate the imagination, and will encourage endless exploration of the mind, the heart and the hand.


David Middlebrook is a professional sculptor specializing in site-specific work, public and private commissions, and smaller sculptural elements. He earned his M.F.A from the University of Iowa in 1970. He accepted a teaching position at San Jose State University in 1974, relocated to California and has maintained a studio in the hills of south bay’s Los Gatos ever since. David has had several transforming experiences that have molded him into the artist he is today. In 1980, he gathered his family and moved to the northern tip of Australia where he held the post of visiting artist at the University of Darwin. And then in 1982 he took a similar position at the University of Natal in Pietermaritzburg, South Africa. Both experiences were 1-year excursions and allowed David to explore these two remarkable countries. His travels put him in direct contact with the respective native cultures of each country and their unique artistic vision of life. This exposure proved to be quite influential in terms of content as the primitive aesthetic continues to find it way into David’s work to this day.

As a master of ceramics and all its applications, for years David had struggled with the instability of this material and found many of its characteristics to be limiting. In 1983 he traveled to Northern Italy and discovered stone and it changed his approach to art forever. Since that trip, he has maintained a professional relationship with a studio in Pietrasanta, Italy. The availability of virtually every stone in the world, a thousand years of experience and tradition in stone and their specialized technology to fabricate make this Italian resource an invaluable asset. In addition to the two trips he makes to Italy each year, David maintains his status as Associate Director of Fine Arts at SJSU, which affords him the use of the university foundry for his bronze work.


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