Biography- James Ciosek-Metal Smith and Sculptor
Taught to weld by his grandfather at age eleven, James Ciosek, (pronounced cho-zik), continues a family legacy and has been a professional metal smith since 1993. As an apprentice he honed his technical skills in the ornamental iron and high end glass bending sectors. Ciosek earned a blacksmithing certificate from the Artist Blacksmith’s Association of North America, and a B.S. in Mass Media from New York University.
In 1999 he went into business for himself making custom ironwork. In 2001 the City of Dayton, Ohio, and Five Rivers Organization for Community awarded him a grant to design, construct, and install a highly ornamented fence for Mr. McGregor’s Community Garden. Ciosek shifted his emphasis towards sculpture in 2003, and had his first solo show “Brownfield Flowers” at the Cochran Gallery, Dayton, Ohio in 2004.
Setting up his studio in Houston, Texas in 2006, James Ciosek has regularly shown at the Art Car Museum where he had a big hit with his piece “Oil Then Water” at the 2007 “War Show.” His sculpture “Peeling Reed,” displayed in the “2008 Juried Winter Show” at The Arts Alliance Center at Clear Lake inspired curator Debra Kendrick to organize 2009’s “Flotsam and Jetsam, Artists Respond to Ike.” Another work, “Tin Roof Rider- Ike Model” entered into the juried aspect of “Flotsam and Jetsam,” won Ciosek a juror’s prize.
2010 marks the year of James Ciosek’s first art car and entry in the Houston Art Car Parade. His muscle/art car “Frankenova” continued his string of wins with a second place trophy in the art car category and spawned a new genre in the movement dubbed “art rod” by the president of the Houston Art Car Klub and others.
In late 2010, Ciosek founded Space City Art Bikes (S.C.A.B.), a project that teaches kids how to decorate, repair, and safely ride art bicycles. He began with a group of nine refugee kids in Southwest Houston who earned bikes by decorating them.
James Ciosek continued S.C.A.B. in 2011, facilitating a five month art bike class with twelve students at Roberts Elementary school, by special request of the staff. Space City Art Bikes rolled in the 2011 Houston Art Car Parade for the first time with twenty one kids on art bikes, and will continue to add members throughout 2012 via the Houston public schools. Ciosek’s horror art rod “Frankenova” also muscled its way through a second parade, winning another second place trophy.
Currently the artist is promoting his new abstract expressionist sculpture series “Constructed Chaos,” which consists of large scale corrugated tin and fiberglass obelisks. Surface texturing and penetration with guns and other “randomness generators” play against the ordered lines of the corrugations. Colored fluorescent lights within the pieces create mystical overtones. Thematically, Ciosek explores the concept of destruction and regeneration in this series.