Sandwich Purse with Potato Chip Strap

Sandwich Purse with Potato Chip Strap, carved wood

Trained as a figurative painter, Constance Alyce Westvig Roberts calls herself a "thing- maker."

In her work, she bridges the realms of fine art and folk art and tackles many subjects with sharp wit and unrestrained humor. Roberts creates carved wooden whistles, but this isn't always obvious at first glance. Usually, the viewer gets caught up taking in all the images presented by these sculptural pieces: a wedge of chocolate cake with a birthday candle whistle, a dog angel, or perhaps a bag of whistling circus peanuts. Her work seems to follow three different tracks: popular culture where, for example, real- looking candy bars with familiar names are altered slightly to bring new meaning such as Sneakers Bars or Nestegg Crunch. Nursery rhymes and cartoon images, and political commentary are two other themes that influence her ideas.

Roberts also collaborates with hers husband Michael, an artist specializing in realistic portraits and allegorical paintings. California natives, the Roberts are long-time residents of Iowa.

Connie has created works for well know entertainers such as Steven Spielberg. Mike Roberts and Connie collaborated on Congressman Jim Leach's portrait, which hangs in the halls of the US Banking Committee in Washington, DC.

text and image from Iowa Artisans Gallery

This page was first displayed
on September 12, 2005

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