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Online Artist Archive

Vettel, Gregory A.
Discipline: Abstract/Experimental, Graphics, Metal, Mixed Media, Sculpture

If one were to wonder what forces make the gears in Gregory Vettel’s creative mind turn, all one would have to do is look at his resume. A lifelong motorcycle and classic car enthusiast, Greg has studied automotive maintenance at the Wyoming Technical Institute, has an electronics degree from the Bell and Howell/DeVry Institute of Technology, and has been certified through a master technician training course with the Harley-Davidson Motor Corporation. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in graphic design from Minot State University, where he was also president of the art club and director of the art gallery. Currently, he is employed with the North Dakota Museum of Art, where he works as exhibitions coordinator and registrar.

With his sculptures, Vettel tries to “explore the inner workings of mechanized, mobile machines in the medium of welded steel machine parts.” He constructs abstract moveable mechanisms for viewers to explore with touch, sight, and hearing in his hands-on interactive pieces. “My work is influenced by my love of motorcycles, mechanisms, and my experience as an internal combustion technician,” he says. “My theme is transportation - machines, specifically motorcycle parts from only American-made motorcycles still in production. I prefer mechanical subjects - sharp, angular, geometric forms and shapes with high contrast features and textures.” He likes his sculptures to resemble imaginary machines which, if put to use, would fulfill some imaginary purpose. He gives them names such as “Space Beagle,” Galactica,” and “Challenger,” taken from real science (NASA) and science fiction spaceships of popular culture.

Recently, Vettel has taken to creating 2-dimensional art work, made by scanning motorcycle parts into his computer and manipulating them with photo-editing software.

Vettel has been involved in a number of new projects including the annual Ride-in-for-the-Arts motorcycle run at the Pekin Art Show (in Pekin, North Dakota) as well as the design and construction of the trunks for the North Dakota Council on the Arts’ A.R.T.S. Trunk program. He has participated in more than forty exhibitions and his artwork is in over twenty private collections around the country, including that of the Harley-Davidson corporate offices in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. During the months of January, February, and March 2001 and October, November, and December 2002, he was the featured artist in the offices of North Dakota Governor John Hoeven and First Lady Mikey Hoeven.

- Ben Nemenoff

Contact Gregory Vettel:
1294 8th Avenue Northeast
Thompson, ND 58278

Image by Vettel

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