Kent Ullberg Named 2023 Rockport Art Festival Master Artist

by Jessica Fuentes May 29, 2023

Last week, the Rockport Center for the Arts (RCA) announced wildlife sculptor Kent Ullberg as the 31st Rockport Art Festival Master Artist. 

A photograph of sculptor Kent Ullberg standing next to a metal abstract sculpture of a heron.

Kent Ullberg. Image courtesy of the Rockport Center for the Arts.

Now in its 55th year, the Rockport Art Festival, which is held in July, is one of the longest-running juried art festivals in the U.S. Since 1993, RCA has selected an artist to design a poster for the festival. The poster artist’s work is also featured in a solo show on view at the institution during the event. This year, RCA has rebranded the designation as Master Artist. 

A sculpture by Kent Ullberg of two sea otters.

Kent Ullberg, “Ring of Bright Water.” On view at the Rockport Center for the Arts, summer 2023.

Mr. Ullberg’s exhibition, Feathers and Flippers, will be on view in the center’s H-E-B Gallery from June 16 through August 6. A members-only reception will take place Saturday, June 17, from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m. Mr. Ullberg and past Master Artists will be in attendance, and RCA will unveil Mr. Ullberg’s donated piece, which will be auctioned off on June 30. Additionally, RCA is producing and selling limited edition folios that feature six drawings spanning the artist’s career. 

In a press release, Elena Rodriguez, exhibitions curator for RCA, stated, “Long before a sculpture is cast and installed for the public, Ullberg creates hundreds of observational and preparatory drawings. One of my personal favorites is a sketch of iguanas in the Galapagos. Drawn in charcoal with gestural marks, it is clear Ullberg isn’t just capturing what he sees but understanding how the form functions in space. It’s a two-dimensional rendering with enough information to easily be translated into a three-dimensional form.”

Born in Sweden, Mr. Ullberg studied at the Swedish University College of Art in Stockholm. He worked at museums in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Botswana, and Denver, Colorado. Mr. Ullberg made his home permanently in the U.S. on Padre Island in 1978, and he also maintains a studio in Loveland, Colorado. Mr. Ullberg has created more than 100 public sculptures throughout the U.S. and internationally. Three of his works are in the RCA permanent collection, including Merry Time Romance, which was acquired in 2021

The 2023 Rockport Art Festival will take place on Saturday, July 1 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday, July 2, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Learn more about the festival at the RCA website.

0 comment

You may also like

Leave a Comment

Funding generously provided by: