Peter Bauer & Candace Kreitlow
Biography /Artist Statement
Peter Bauer and Candace Kreitlow have been creating collaborative sculptures in wood since the mid 1990’s. For years, while residing in Mazomanie Wisconsin, the pair would make bi-annual trips west to collect potential sculptures from the wild and vast beaches of the southern Oregon coast. The driftwood was plentiful and after a week or two of “good” hunting they would make the 2350 mile return trip to Wisconsin pulling a 5’ by 8’ U-Haul filled to capacity with twisted shapes of Port Orford white cedar, redwood, red cedar, and myrtlewood. By 2005 the decision was made to leave Wisconsin and move to the charming old fishing village of Bandon Oregon. The source of driftwood is now only a few miles distant, and besides, Peter now has the additional pleasure of being a Senior Caddie at Bandon Dunes Golf Resort. It is a retirement to envy.
Candy’s credentials as an artist are impressive. She earned an MFA in Textile Design from the University of Wisconsin and taught textile design at the Madison Campus for seven years. In addition she gained valuable woodworking experience under the direction of UW Professor C.R.(Skip) Johnson. Peter, on the other hand, is another story. Those who accept reincarnation might suggest he had some carving experience in a previous lifetime, as he has certainly had no formal training this time around. In fact, he didn’t start sculpting wood until age 35. Peter’s interest in wood surfaced when, as a pilot in the Air Force, he had the opportunity to collect representative carvings from various cultures around the world. Yet it was many years after his flying days were over that he took a serious interest in sculpting wood.
Peter’s educational background is in physical education with a specialty in gymnastics. Following his tour with the United Sates Air Force, he coached the University of Wisconsin Men’s Gymnastics Team for eight years. And then created and directed the Badger Gymnastics Academy in Madison Wisconsin until 1992. Peter also held a part-time lecturer position with the UW’s Department of Kinesiology from 1980 until his retirement in 2002. As a student of gymnastics, Peter appreciates form and movement. As artists, he and Candy try to capture these qualities in whales, seals, dolphins and birds. Often hidden in the twisted sun bleached roots of coastal driftwood are nature’s playful creatures. They just need to be liberated.