Pat Gilmartin
Studio 8

808 Lady Street
Columbia, SC 29201
803. 252. 6134

I have always had an interest in art, but only as an observer and small-time collector. For most of my life, my “day job” was that of professor of geography at the University of Victoria (British Columbia) and the University of South Carolina. In these positions, I specialized in cartography, the art and science of maps, and so managed to focus my love of art into the design and understanding of maps.


Several years ago I decided to take a workshop in ceramic sculpture and fell in love with it immediately. Determined to follow my passion, I began the transition from full-time paid professor to full-time, sometimes-paid artist. It has literally been a new life for me, but one that I love and look forward to continuing for many years.


About my art: I work primarily in terra cotta but have had some pieces cast in bronze. Sometimes I also use found objects, such as pieces of rusty metal or weathered natural wood, in my sculpture. Most of my sculpture is figurative work in styles that range from realistic to impressionistic. Regardless of the medium or style, however, my goal is always to capture what I see as the essence of the person or animal that is my subject and to communicate that to the observer. At the same time, I often try to introduce an element of ambiguity into the piece in order to encourage others to project their own interpretations into it. I am always fascinated with the associations and understandings that other people attach to my creations, and my greatest satisfaction comes when someone sees one of my sculptures and feels an immediate emotional connection with it.