Neil Sater came into the art world in a rather unconventional way. He began as a trained engineer and spent a decade designing and building custom homes on the Big Island of Hawaii. He relocated to Santa Barbara, CA to be closer to family and continue his building career. While working with a client to select materials for their home, he was struck with inspiration and started to visualize these natural materials as sculptural mediums. Everything was filtered through this new artistic lens, and he shifted focus from his building career to study art at City College in Santa Barbara. He explored various disciplines and utilized this training to cultivate his artistic expression. The combination of art and engineering yielded a multitude of creations over the next 2 decades of his life, from furniture design to commissioned gallery pieces. His penchant for ultra-pure raw materials led him to design a series of slate and copper wall hanging fountains. He made a business out of this series and formed a company called Water Wonders. The movement of water that gave these pieces life spawned a new series of wind sculptures that channeled the movement of air. Thus, he started another business called Wind Wonders, which inspired the kinetic art sculptures he’s creating today. Neil pushed his designs, making them taller and wider in scale. The bigger he went, the more attention they garnered and the more, “mesmerizing” they appeared to be. As they got larger and heavier, he designed a base and supportive framework in lieu of suspending the sculptures. He engineered a motor-driven mechanism to bring life and movement to the stand-alone models. He dug deeper with “Aurora,” incorporating lights and sensors that could be syncopated to music. And, a hydro-powered sculpture, “Neptune.” The Cosmogony series is just a glimpse into what is yet to come. Using the walls as his canvas and light as his paint, he is currently developing a new, evolutionary body of work; The culmination of sensory experience for an interactive, transformative environment.
Neil's ArtPrize Entries
These are Neil's official ArtPrize entries from this year and past years.