Randy Regier, M.F.A.
Education: Bachelor of Fine Arts in sculpture (May 2003)
Master of Fine Arts in sculpture from Maine College of Art
McNair Project: Westermann's Dæmon (2002)
Mentor: Christopher Sorensen, Ph.D.
My experience with the linear, chronological, and categorical focus of art education has been that it ignores some very significant artists - artists who, by virtue of their extreme individuality, are too complex and unwieldy to snap fit into a mass-market curriculum. They are "outsider" artists and their significance is underestimated.
Such is the case with the American sculptor H.C. Westermann, 1922-1981. In my research I had access to numerous personal letters, both actual and reprinted, from the artist to his friends and family. His correspondence is an intense, evocative and moving portrayal of a very complex and talented man. In my case, the limitations of my methodology mirrored the results of my research. In using Westermann's letters to understand his passion, drive, and blunt nonconformity, I became aware of two things: First, if H.C. Westermann could have exorcised his personal demons in his writing, he would have had no need of sculpture. His letters contain insights, not answers. Second, his letters are just that: his letters. I did not have access to the other half of his correspondence, and thus I was lacking much contextual information. All that aside, the most important result of my research is the profound level of respect and admiration I now have for a man who gave his life for his art.