Eli Blasko is a visual artist, public sculptor, furniture maker, designer, and muralist who spent much of his formative years wandering around the forests of Western Pennsylvania. After receiving his BFA from Slippery Rock University, he first found himself working as a Studio Resident Assistant in a blacksmithing and steel fabrication shop at Touchstone Center for Crafts. After this, he spent several years pursuing various residencies and exhibitions around the country, finally landing in Spartanburg, SC after completing a residency at Hub-Bub.
While experimenting with a variety of new projects at Hub-Bub, Blasko became more and more interested in public space as both a venue and laboratory for his making. This eventually led to the co-founding of Bannan Blasko LLC, a public-art focused business, with fellow artist Russell Bannan. Since its formation in 2016, Bannan Blasko LLC has executed and worked as a consultant on dozens of murals and public practice projects throughout North and South Carolina. The collective’s projects can be viewed at www.bannanblasko.com.
In addition to running his business, Blasko has simultaneously designed and installed interactive public works of his own from Atlanta, GA to Asheville, NC, including a large community-driven project in the Northside neighborhood of Spartanburg, SC. For this project, simply titled “The Northside Artlet Project,” Blasko relocated his studio to an abandoned office building in the Northside neighborhood for one year, outfitting it as a functioning wood studio and classroom. He then worked with community members teaching carpentry, and transforming local narratives into four sculptural forms. After several months, these forms were then built and installed alongside community members who had been taking carpentry classes at Blasko’s studio.
Blasko continues to work in both Spartanburg, SC and Sylva, NC, where his studio is currently located. He continues to co-own and operate Bannan Blasko LLC, runs an independent studio practice, is an Instructor of Carpentry at a local college, and still makes time to roam around outside. A basis in sculpture and woodworking is the cornerstone of his practice, but this often expands to include elements of drawing, performance, and public interaction. Outside of the studio, he is an amateur mycologist, a mediocre climber of rocks, and a lover of all things involving astrophysics, Japanese woodworking, tasteful infographics and cats.
© 2019 Eli Blasko.