Greg Koeppel has always considered art to be an important and integral part of his life.
After graduating from college in 1972 with a degree in Art Education, Greg was called back to his boyhood farm due to a family- related tragedy. While working there, he developed a plan: to build a pottery studio based on a design he made in one of his college courses. Luckily, Greg was able to purchase some land from the farm and demolish an old barn which he utilized for his studio. He also harvested cedar from the farm and split the shakes for the roof. In 1975, as his pottery was becoming established, Greg was offered the opportunity to teach at the town’s local school. With that, his pottery business became a summer venture. For the next twelve years, Greg turned out pottery. With the help of his wife and two children, he exhibited his work at numerous art and craft shows, often receiving awards and ribbons. In 1987, Greg decided to pursue other art interests and ideas and no longer produced pottery. He returned to his “first love…painting” and produced works including several commissions in the summers, as he continued working in education during the school year. During this period Greg’s interest in sculpture took over and he began producing pieces for his yard. A cow and a life sized crucifix were two which he fashioned out of scrap sheet metal. These folk art pieces continue to be favorites among visitors and passers-by. In college, Greg had assembled a pair of ceramic totems for his sculpture class which eventually ended up as a decoration in front of his studio. And, in the ensuing years the thought of totems kept nagging at him. Eventually he decided to experiment with them once more. This time, he received his inspiration through recycling. He collected discarded containers and created totems that seem mysterious and magical. The totems or “pillars” are made of concrete. As a medium, concrete, though plain in itself, displays great strength and integrity. Concrete inspires Greg to not only make more totems but also to create figurative pieces which he proudly displays in his yard. Greg continues to look for imaginative and interesting ways to create, such as his “Cone”, a woven construction using branches from various small shrubs and trees. When Greg retires from his regular job, he plans to give full attention to his art. My mission is to find beauty in things others may not. I am influenced by elements from both nature and man-made objects. Repetition in design often found in nature, such as flowers, dried weeds, etc. interest me. I try to apply these elements in my creations and experiments with many possible variations of design. In my art work, I am influenced by a world more often observed by children, who will take the time to look closely at things and study them. I use these observations and incorporate them into my work, hoping to engage the public. From this standpoint, I feel a strong spiritual connection to my work; a connection I would like to pass on to others.