For his commissioned projects, Richard Deutsch works closely with planners, developers, architects, landscape architects, and community representatives to create sculptures and associated environments that are integrated into the context of chosen locations. These sites range from civic plazas, educational institutions, and museums to remote private ranches and intimate backyard gardens.
A carefully conceived art environment can infuse a space with meaning and create a revered place that challenges and educates.
At their best, art-integrated environments become places that are treasured by the community. Each project is unique; the most successful share the following phases:
To form a conceptual basis for each artwork or environment, the artist begins by researching the site’s history, culture, and native surroundings. He engages in a dialogue with a wide spectrum of people who will be involved with the site, from community leaders and stakeholders to workers and neighborhood families, to learn about their immediate concerns and long-term aspirations. The artist may delve into historical documents and photographs, spend time walking and observing the landscape, or study how participants utilize a space at different times of the day to build a concept of form, shape, image, and content.
The design phase of a project often involves collaboration with architects and landscape architects. Designs are presented at predetermined intervals to the commissioning body to gain feedback and for refinement. Richard Deutsch’s design-studio staff includes an architect fully versed in three-dimensional modeling (Rhino and CAD) and graphic programs such as Photoshop and Illustrator. The artist works closely with structural and technical engineers throughout the process, researching the location’s history, culture, and native surroundings.
Richard Deutsch remains true to art making, and the mark of the human hand is evident in all of his sculpture. The artist maintains a fully equipped sculpture studio along the northern California coast, where he and his assistants produce much of his work. For specialized stone projects, Deutsch travels to quarries and workshops in Vermont, Italy, and China to select material and to collaborate with local artisans with whom he has developed working relationships over the past 20 years. For large-scale projects in bronze and stainless steel, the artist collaborates with highly skilled technical fabricators in California.