When 400 West Rich first opened, the studios had their first Fear 100 and I was on the planning committee with several artists, including Andrew Lundberg. As the Franklinton Arts District has grown, Andrew and I have run into each other many times and I’ve gotten to know his art….painting, woodwork, metal. Everything I have seen has piqued my interest in this multi-talented man so an interview was definitely in the cards!
Andrew and I ‘talked’ online for a short while but decided that an in-person meeting was going to help us get to know each other much better. So, I made the trek to his barn across from Strongwater Food & Spirits in Franklinton so I could see the progress on it and spend more time with him. We first discussed his upbringing…
Andrew grew up in New York near Buffalo in a little burg called Chatauqua Lake where he graduated in a class of only 28 students. As a kid, he was really into sports and making things. Academics weren’t his thing but art was always a draw for him so it seems like a no-brainer that he should be enthralled when the Art Institute of Pittsburgh came to his school to recruit students. Although his step-dad thought that he should pursue a degree in business, Andrew was drawn to creating. Sadly, his step dad passed away around the time of his graduation so his mom agreed to let him try art school…a mixed bag for a young Andrew.
He did choose to go to The Art Institute of Pittsburgh (yay! my home town!!!!) majoring in illustration and minoring in design, and spent the next 15 years working in the corporate world. During that time, he worked as a concept designer creating for national brands. Andrew just had to take a sabbatical from the insanity. Fortunate for the Columbus art scene however!!!!
At that juncture, 37-year-old Andrew chucked the rat race, downsized, bought an Airstream and moved to Franklinton. His timing couldn’t have been better because that was when things starting hopping in the district. He got a studio at 400 West Rich with painter, Dave Dennison and got to work creating. Lucky for the rest of us because his work is amazing.
Intermittently since leaving the corporate world, he has kept those connections but he decided that if he was truly going to change his life, he had to buckle down and put his all into his art. Sort of a ‘do or die’ kinda thinking.
Andrew is what is called a multidimensional artist. His main objective is to find the right materials that fit the emotions he wants to convey, that could be metal, wood, paint or digital.
I believe that the process of creating is the same with any medium, eye to mind to hands. Most days I wake up on my feet, living in an Airstream for the past 3 years has taught be to make more out of less. Living in Franklinton, I get help to be inspired, the land of big dreams. If I’m lacking the motivation, I just need to look around, this place is on fire.
His metal works and wood working show strength while his paintings often show a more masculine interpretation of his subjects. That’s one of the things I love about his art….he doesn’t confine himself to one genre but explores all with exuberance.
While working at the studio and becoming an integral part of it’s community, Andrew began to explore creating one-of-a-kind furniture. As he began doing this, the little pole building/barn across from 400 became available and he jumped on it. He has been commissioned to make some very impressive conference tables along with Brianne DeRolph of Drift Industries, who is an extremely gifted craftsman and designer as well. All of this grew organically into Lundberg Industrial Arts and it has been a collaborative effort since it’s inception. As stated on his website:
‘‘I needed to move beyond the computer,” says Andrew. “I loved digital design and it taught me endless things, but the bigger reward for me is in the physical presence of what I build—it’s a thing; you can touch it; it exists. I try not to limit my skills to any one tool.” Along with a deep understanding of brands, concept and design, LUNDBERG Inc. will create the key pieces, from concept to completion, that gives a brand it’s soul.
AND, if you check out his website (www.lundberginc.com) you will see that he has enlisted a team to not only create product but to promote and sell it. Pretty impressive to see that all of these talented folk work together to give a soul to the businesses that are their clients. I definitely think that Andrew’s model will change the business landscape in Central Ohio and beyond if businesses are lucky enough to work with Lundberg Inc.
Everyday, I learn more and more about the attributes of all sorts of materials. As long as your creative process is honed, you can apply that same thinking to anything and find a good end product.
Andrew not only embraces the non-static nature of his work, he thrives on it! For the last three years (yes, he is the ripe old age of 40 now!), he has turned his passion into a gorgeous mural above the bar in Strongwater, participated in Urban Scrawl, made and sold metal works, created and sold hand hewn tables and, just recently, spoke at Pecha Kucha about the history of Franklinton from an artist’s perspective. He is all about the history of his location and is a firm believer that it has helped the artists become a community rather than individual artists working solo in studios. That sense of community has helped him realize his dreams not only for himself but for the Columbus art scene.
And coming next week, Andrew will open up his barn to the public during Franklinton Fridays on December 12th. A perfect opportunity to check out this diversely talented artist!
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