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Charles Huntington (1926 - 2017)
Charles Huntington, an American Indian artist of Ojibwe descent, was born in Niagara, Wisconsin, and moved to the Minneapolis-St. Paul area as a small child. After serving during World War II in the U.S. Navy as a steam engineer, Huntington turned to automotive repairs, where he began making sculpture out of found car parts.
In 1959 he left the auto industry to study at the Minneapolis College of Art and Design, where he fine-tuned his skills and learned metal casting under Paul Granlund (1925-2003), another well-known Minnesota sculptor. In an interview with the Hibbing Daily Tribune, he characterized the change as "hard financially, but emotionally it was pretty damn easy... I don't believe I make sculpture. I believe sculpture made me."
Given Huntington's medium and perspective, his large scale sculptures, typically made of steel, are most commonly seen in public spaces. Accessible to all, they are designed to engage viewers both physically and metaphysically through geometric abstractions (notably helixes and lemniscates - symbols of infinity) that fold back on themselves creating aesthetic balance and reflexivity.
Examples of Huntington's work can be found throughout Midwestern universities, hospitals, and businesses, such as Western Michigan University, the Mayo Clinic, and General Mills.