FORT WAYNE, IND. (WPTA21)-They’re sporting some new furniture at the Fort Wayne First Presbyterian Church art gallery but nothing that could support a human body. These beautifully crafted miniature gems are the work of local artist Robert Schroeder, all hand formed copper cushions, frames and silver feet that are absolutely delightful.
Schroeder has been making these pieces for many years but recently added something, images and writings in silver inlay on each piece, all with a message. The artist has created collages to accompany his sculptures, road maps really to guide the viewer through each piece. They have original renderings, the patterns used to cut out its parts and copies of the images and writings inlaid in silver on the work.
This easy chair celebrates famed Nazi hunter Simon Wiesenthal. The collage has photographs of the man, of the chair in his study Schroeder used as a model and some of Wiesenthal’s writings about his struggles as a Nazi death camp prisoner.
“And so I decided ‘well, how can I show those and make something that people could look at and get a sense of what they can’t see?’” says Schroeder.
This beautiful sofa protests the torturing of prisoners at the Abu Ghraib prison following the Iraq war. Its collage contains now infamous images of torture that took place, writings about Habeus Corpus and human rights that appear on the sofa. And silver spider webs found in every corner.
This easy chair honors Schroeder’s former art teachers Joan and Clifford Johnson. And this piece, an homage to Indiana author Kurt Vonnegut, paragraphs from his books covering the copper fabric.
Robert Schroeder’s work has evolved from meticulously crafted artworks, to art with a social conscience. A message appropriate for the basement gallery of a church, appropriate for anywhere you might find it in 21 country.
This is Eric Olson reporting.