Babette Grunwald is an artist, working in encaustics, textiles and mixed-media. She was born in Paris, France and grew up in Switzerland. As a young adult, she moved to California, then Mexico, New York, Washington and in 2004, relocated to Philomath with her husband and three daughters. After a career in agricultural research and farm management, she chose to pursue full time her other passion, which is art, and went back to grad school to get a Masters of Fine Arts at the University of Oregon (MFA '07). Babette’s studio is in her home and you may visit her there. She then also got her teaching credential and teaches art full-time at a local high school.
My art relies on encaustics (pigmented beeswax) and mixed media including natural and man-made fibers: dyed, painted, torn, burned, fused with polymer or sewn together. I use brushes, the heat gun, the sewing machine as my principal tools and stitch as a personal mark. I am interested in surfaces and textures, from almost transparent surfaces, forming webs and connections, to built-up layers that are rich in disturbing histories and a language of their own.
The relationship between humans and nature has been, and continues to be, one of dominance. I feel that as an artist, I try to look at nature differently and critically question my actions within society and my relationship to the environment. My larger goal is to show in different ways that balance is fragile, that we are members of our ecosystems, and that we are thus interdependent. Subtle changes in dynamics can propel a current natural system into a completely new and unpredictable state that never existed before.
I am deeply respectful of planet Earth and am concerned about how we treat her.