the artist

Sydney "Syd" Carpenter

Sydney "Syd" Carpenter

Pittsburgh, PA

Sydney "Syd" Carpenter

The forms seen in my work are inspired by the shapes and textures observed in a garden I have tended for over 20 years.  The life of a garden is sustained by the unseen but persistent systems that deliver all that is needed for growth.  “Inner Workings” is inspired by an awareness of unseen but sustaining systems at work behind the walls of a functioning architectural structure.  If exposed, the inner workings of the structure would reveal the vents, pipes and wires that appear similar to the roots, branches and coiling tendrils found on a growing plant.

As the climate continues to change, I am aware of the sensitivity of these organic systems.  In the last few years, my garden has been sending signals of irregularity and change because of the warming climate.  Plants no longer die back completely or daffodils in January.    Which in turn causes me to  wonder about the inevitable resulting consequences on our human made  mechanical systems.   These are the same systems we are so very much reliant upon and in very tangible ways, contribute to our identity  as an advanced society.   Who are we as a culture when those systems, both organic and mechanical, no longer function in support of our current way of life?

Fast Facts

Name: Sydney "Syd" Carpenter


Place of Birth: Pittsburgh, PA

Tyler School of Art – BFA 1974, MFA 1976

Notable or memorable instructors or mentors:
Rudolf Staffel

Particular field of study or class work:

Who are your major influences as an artist?
International vernacular architecture

What artists do you admire?
Beverly McIvers, Andile Dyalvane, Rose B. Simpson

Favorite materials or media:
Clay, wood, graphite, acrylic

School or university affiliation (when Convention Center acquired artwork):
Swarthmore College

Gallery Representation (when Convention Center acquired artwork):
Sande Webster Gallery

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