Moab Utah artists. Moab is home to many
local artists and nationally known artists. These talented
people work in a range of mediums from visual arts through
literary to musical. Each month Moab Happenings features one
of our talented local Moab artists.
Artist of the Month - September 2002
Keith Herrmann: Craft
by Sydney Francis
Herrmann gave me a great deal of his time; he wanted to thoroughly
convince me that he was not a legitimate choice for this column.
He spent at least an hour telling me why he was not an artist
and giving me theory and examples to back his hypothesis.
He also showed me the inventions of his craft and cunning
(not to be confused with art, thank you very much). However,
I must beg his pardon and reveal that Herrmann is a gifted
and talented artist. He is a thinker and a synthesizer, who
combines his passion for life and his rigorous thought process
with skill and craft to create metalwork and a large variety
of art of mixed media. It is time, Mr. Herrmann, to step into
the limelight and expose yourself to the naked humility of
The first thing that struck me was his home and business the
Adobe Abode, a result of creativity, genius, and love. The
Adobe Abode is an intricate system of art working in concert
as a Bed and Breakfast, which Herrmann and his wife, Lori
Bevan, built together. Herrmann designed the Adobe Abode,
as he saw it clearly in his minds eye. On every surface
and in every corner there is a creative expression of Hermanns
active mind and whimsical nature. Down to every last detail-the
carved post and beam construction on the patio, the individualized
tiles that cover the entire house, the hand placed rocks in
the walls-are expressions of Herrmanns art.
the house is filled with Herrmanns artwork: the furniture,
the fixtures, the wall hangings, the metal work. And not just
ordinary stuff, but entertaining and provocative objects filled
with Herrmanns insight and whimsy. For example, take
the barbed wire bed, which stands in a room that is a tribute
to barbed wire. He informed me that no barbed wire company
has ever gone bankrupt. There are 10,000 varieties of barbed
wire and that it has had a greater influence on the economics
of the U.S. than the automobile or the train. But the entire
room is filled with art, which celebrates this historically
significant object-the barbed wire.
Herrmann told me that the above are examples of invention
and cleverness, but not examples of art. I am going to beg
to differ on this point, I believe the marriage of invention
and cleverness in the medium of the creative is indeed the
heart and soul of art. Art was never meant to be devoid of
meaning, science, purpose, and Herrmanns work epitomizes
the happy union of creativity and function, knowledge and
In contrast to the abundance of art, which is in the Adobe
Abode, Hermann has an extensive range of metalwork shown all
over town (and all over the U.S.). For example, Herrmann recently
installed three distinct pieces at Star Hall that adorn the
windows facing the courtyard. I was immediately reminded of
Gothic architecture and stained glass windows of which lead
me to sensations about spirituality and connection with the
Divine. The window pieces are abstract expressions of starbursts.
The circle in many cultures refers to the cosmological order
of a system or the unity between all things. Similarly, images
of the sun, moon, and the stars, in the history of Western
art, signify the heavenly order. But I do not think my knowledge
of art history is what arrested me about these window sculptures.
There is something profound and powerful in the abstract simplicity
of geometric shapes bursting forth with sharp spears, which
fragment the window space on one hand, but give it unity and
continuity on the other.
is a peculiar and perhaps uncomfortable sensation in life
to be recognized for your unique and special contribution
to the world. In Herrmanns case, his contribution is
in his art, which he can call by the names of creativity,
cleverness, and invention. But it is in his art, where he
shares himself and his extraordinary talent fully.
Herrmann will be having a show of his work this month at Frivolous
Necessities. A reception will be held as part of the ArtWalk
on September 14, from 6- 9 p.m. In addition, his work is represented
at several locations in town, including Moabilia, Treasure
Haven, Western Image, Bucks Grill House (new patio metalwork
fence), and at the Red Cliffs Lodge.