Associate Professor of Art
College of Fine Arts
As a fine arts professor, Celeste Roberge combines geological processes and human objects to compare the geothermal dynamics of the earth and human activities.
The results are refreshing: a chaise lounge embedded in sedimentary rock, or volcano-shaped stacked stone containing cast-iron frying pans filled with minerals.
“I saw a psychiatrist’s couch in an antique shop in Portland, Maine in 1997,” Roberge says. “I was fascinated by the sculptural properties of the couch, and an image began to emerge of the couch as a potential archeological and geological subject.”
The stone Roberge uses represents geological time while the sandwiched human artifacts like chaise longues, daybeds and couches, represent softness, the feminine, or the thing that gives.
A review of Roberge’s July 2003 show in New York City’s The Week read, “Her assemblages-or ‘stacks,’ as she calls them-of river rocks, fabricated steel and other materials constitute miniature foundries that symbolize creation dynamics on a global scale. The sculptures can be read as powerful metaphors for the tumultuous processes of artistic creation itself.”
Roberge’s work has been displayed internationally from New York City to Steinbergen, Germany, and from Portland, Maine to Largo, Fla.
Most recently, Roberge took her media to a smaller scale with a series of miniature stacks made from dollhouse furniture, stone and minerals. She’s currently working on a series of functional sculpture that will take the form of furniture.
“I’m very interested in how I can take a science like geology, and overlay it with human activities, like cooking, sitting or laying down,” Roberge says. “There are numerous references to fossilization and transformation. I’m trying to show that the earth is always active, tumultuous, and creative, just as we are.”