William W. Mueller Biography
Throughout his art career William Mueller has developed a passion for transforming public and architectural spaces through his public art installations. Designing site-specific work is an important element in his creative process. His work addresses the context of the site, provides a strong visual identity, and appeals to a diverse community.
A native of the Pacific Northwest Mueller was born and raised in Aberdeen, Washington. He attended the University of Oregon, graduating with a B.F.A. in Sculpture and a minor in Landscape Architecture from the University’s School of Architecture and Allied Arts. While attending the UO Mueller came under the tutelage of Jan Zach, Chair of the Sculpture Department and an internationally known Czech/American sculptor. He worked as Zach’s assistant for 9 years on large-scale public art commissions. Through his relationship with Jan Zach he also met and assisted several other well known American sculptors. His work with these artists gave him a strong foundation for the process of fabricating, siting, and installing public art. His education and experience in both sculpture and landscape architecture have been valuable assets when evaluating a potential site or integrating artwork within an existing environment.
After moving to Bellingham, WA in the 1980s Mueller embarked upon a solo art career with works in laminated pine and cast bronze. In 1994 he and his family left the Pacific N.W. for Colorado. Mueller’s work became larger in scale and was markedly influenced by the local colors and penetrating light quality of Colorado’s expansive semi-arid region. He developed several bodies of work fabricated from laminated OSB from 1995-2005 that include the “Wall Series” and “Slice Series”. During this time Mueller developed a finishing process that produces a colorful, durable, terracotta-like surface. These wood sculptures are suited for an interior site but can also be reproduced in bronze or steel for exterior placement.
In 2005 Mueller started work on the “Bow Tie Series”. These sculptures, fabricated from a variety of materials, exemplify Mueller’s exploration of parallel, overlapping and radiating forms. He became increasingly interested in expressing movement within a stationary form through the interplay of angles and spatial relationships. These sculptures were designed for both interior and exterior public spaces.
In 2007 Mueller continued his quest to create vitality and energy within a sculptural form with his “Synergy Series”. These are large-scale public works fabricated from folded steel plate. This series is based on the sculptural concept of one form folding into another form in a continuous sequence. The forms are folded into a variety of planes and angles, each form maintaining its own structural identity as it becomes an integral part of a new entity.
In 2009 Mueller created his first elevated kinetic installation. “Local Motion” was engineered so that the upper sculptural forms can be easily rotated by turning a wheel located on the steel column. Mueller plans to develop similar sculptures that will be engineered as interactive kinetic works or wind-driven installations.
In 2011 Mueller embarked upon his latest exploration with the “Tops Series”. These public sculptures are fabricated from folded stainless steel or folded industrial coated steel plate. They merge in a V at the base and are tilted at an angle to create the illusion of motion, similar to a child’s spinning top. They can also be engineered as kinetic works.
Although Mueller works in series he designs site-specific public art for the context and architectural environment of each public site. With over 30 years experience in the arts and an extensive body of work he approaches each public project from a fresh perspective.
A list of completed works is available upon request.