Professor of Art, Sculpture and Graduate Program Coordinator
M.F.A., Alfred University; B.F.A., Kansas City Art Institute
Originally from East St. Louis, Illinois, David Detrich received his Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the Kansas City Art Institute in Missouri and his Master of Fine Arts degree from Alfred University in New York. His teachers included Dale Eldred, Jim Leedy, Tony Hepburn and Wanye Higby. He has exhibited his sculptural works nationally and internationally including venues at the Tallina Kunstiulikool in Tallin, Estonia and at the American Cultural Center in Taipei, Taiwan. His work is also represented in public and private collections nationally. Outside of the field of art he has consulted with the United Nations Industrial Development Organization, Government of Jamaica and was involved in architectural collaborations with architect, Robert Miller including Nexus Press in Atlanta, Georgia and the Gibbes Museum in Charleston, South Carolina. Before his academic appointment at Clemson University he served on the faculties at Wichita State University in Kansas and at Alfred University. David is presently a Professor and head of the Sculpture area in the Department of Art where he has been teaching since 1992.
From Hegel’s Theory of the Dialectic to evening TV sitcoms I have always been a sucker for irony and paradox. I identify most with a definition I found in one of my old dictionaries of the term “artist” as being a trickster that employs slight of hand. My work involves manipulating recognizable and conditioned elements of formal geometry, language/text, art about art and the socio-political in an open dialogue of opposition. I feel my work is most successful when it poses a question rather than presenting an editorial on a subject. I also contend that “style and consistency” are antithetical to the creative process. I am very curious about the potential of art making that can exist by recognizing a seemingly incongruous palette of concepts and contexts. The end accumulation may appear to be disparate, though I feel strongly that this approach has the potential to represent a broader sense of who I am and how I reflect upon our current condition."