Algoma Artist Tells Stories Through Sculpture


By Trevor Keller | December 23, 2019

FacebookTwitterEmail

Bren Sibilsky isn’t afraid to get her hands dirty. “I make my living playing with mud,” Sibilsky says.

Sibilsky is a full-time sculptor. Born in Green Bay, Sibilsky went to school at the Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, where she fell in love with sculpture. After college, she ended up working in commercial art for many years, but eventually grew tired of it. “It was a constant trying to meet somebody else’s expectation,” Sibilsky says.

She decided to make a career change. “This is it. I’m going to go back to what my true passion was, what I wanted to do all along, so I went back to sculpture,” Sibilsky says.

She now runs her own art business out of her studio in Algoma. She sculpts with wood and bronze, but most of her work is done by hand with clay. “Clay would be my favorite material. It’s quick,” Sibilsky says. “It’s tactile, you can put it in right away, and it’s adjustable.”

Sibilsky specializes in realism, creating lifelike sculptures of people and animals. “I think the starting point, for me, is probably the same as most artists. It’s an idea. It’s a story,” Sibilsky says.

For instance, she’s working to create a bust of a Potawatomi tribe member in Hannahville, Michigan. It’s a job that requires a lot of research. “I got to speak with the spiritual leader of the tribe,” Sibilsky says. “He told me that it was important that it come from the heart, to use my heart when creating. That was just perfect because that’s where I like to create from.”

Sibilsky is quick to point out she’s just a messenger. “It really is their story. It’s not my story. In a way, I’m illustrating from my own heart how I felt reading this story,” Sibilsky says.

That’s a responsibility Sibilsky takes very seriously. “We’re all here for a short time really when you look at the big scope of things. I sometimes feel like I’m a recorder more than anything else. I’m just recording what I feel and see in this world.”

Trevor Keller

Trevor Keller is Executive Producer of “Wisconsin Life” for PBS Wisconsin. He loves photography and is always looking for a new Wisconsin park, trail or scenic overlook to explore.
FacebookTwitterEmail
2019-12-23T18:59:07+00:00Tags: , |

Sign Up Form

Sign Up for Our Bi-Weekly Newsletter

Get your favorite Wisconsin Life stories, meet the crew, and go behind the scenes.

Our Favorite Collections

Storyteller Rodney Lambright II's comic series about the rich relationship between a single father, his young daughter and his retirement-age parents.
For the 150th anniversary of the Civil War, we discover how Wisconsinites experienced the war both at home and on the battlefield.
Ice, cold and winter are an integral part of what it means to live in Wisconsin. "Ice Week" explores the many ways that ice defines us.
Food plays a central part in many holiday traditions. This series honors the foods and meals that make the day.
Escape winter with a look at some of Wisconsin's favorite sports and games.
"Living the Wisconsin Life" is an online series exploring the little things that make living in Wisconsin fun, interesting and meaningful.