UMASS Dartmouth Faculty Eric Lintala
ERIC LINTALA: Biography
Eric Lintala received his Bachelor of Fine Arts and Master of Fine Arts degrees in Sculpture from Kent State University. He is a Professor in the Fine Arts Department, in the College of Visual and Performing Arts.
Lintala's most recent exhibitions include: Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, Mill Brook Gallery and Sculpture Garden, Concord, New Hampshire, Multisensory: Visual Responses to Memory and Synesthesia, Hera Gallery, Wakefield, Rhode Island, What Artists Collect, The New Bedford Art Museum, New Bedford, Massachusetts, Sculpture Path, Forest Hills Cemetery, Boston, Massachusetts, Site specific work in public collections: A Healing Place, Row Conference Center, Row, Massachusetts, Marks of Remembrance, Town of Carlisle, Carlisle, Massachusetts Inscription Rock, The Fuller Museum of Art, Brockton, Massachusetts.
He has received numerous awards, grants, and commissions including the Holocaust Memorial for Buttonwood Park in New Bedford, the Silver Medal for Sculpture at the International Art Competition-L.A. Summer Olympics, a Sculpture Fellowship from the Artists Foundation in Boston, Certificate of Excellence International Art Competition in New York City, and several research grants from the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth.
Lintala has traveled extensively throughout the United States recording and researching pre-historic Rock Art, petroglyphs and pictographs, which has had a profound influence on his work. Concentrating his research in the southwest, he made a major discovery in 1994 of a rock art panel not yet recorded, located in Salt Creek Canyon, south central Utah.
Long before people developed a written language, they learned how to communicate or record through pictures. Sheltered in caves or under vast cliffs, these images of human kind, animals, and nature were inscribed, pecked and painted onto stone. Where these marks appeared became special places, sacred places, places where spirits dwelled. Religion, the hunt, farming, fertility, life and death, all that was important, they recorded. The full meaning of these symbols left on stone will likely elude us forever. The early inhabitants who made them, their knowledge, lost to the ages. The challenge before me is to carry on, to reinvestigate, to renew this tradition of communication and through my visual interpretations, I hope their spirits can live on. It is the unknown, to try to understand what was, in relation to what is now and yet to come, that fascinates me.
Each of these sculptures tells a story. They tell of the experiences and adventures I encountered while searching for rock art in the backcountry of the southwest. Some objects take on the suggested role of weapon, tool or sacred relic. The imagery is raised to create a strong visual contrast of surface and to encourage viewers to interact with each piece by reading their surfaces and shapes through the sense of touch.