We at InLiquid are saddened by the loss of one of our most cherished and talented members, and even better individual, Brent Crothers. Crothers was a sculptor from Maryland with a BFA and MFA from Maryland Institute College of Art, and his works are in various museums and private collections. He won the Baker Artist Award b-grant in 2012 and the Mary Sawyer Baker Prize in 2014. Brent received four Individual Artists grants from the Maryland State Arts Council and a Franz and Virginia Bader grant in 2015.
Brent participated in several exhibitions with InLiquid since 2012, including his Water Wars series in the Philadelphia Flower Show in 2013. He was also in two InLiquid group exhibitions in 2019 before his passing. The large-scale sculptures he had exhibited both had to do with his love and reverence of nature. During the summer of 2019, Sculpture in the Glen featured Brent’s pieces in their natural element. Viewing his works out of a traditional gallery or museum setting allowed the viewer to see his works in the environment that inspired them. In the fall and winter of 2019, Crothers’ works in Into the Woods explored humanity’s relationship with nature. With his Water Wars series, Crothers used discarded hoses, tire treads, and copper pipe fittings to comment on how we waste water and take the natural resources of the earth for granted.
I remember Brent as a thoughtful man of many words. When we were installing his works for Sculpture in the Glen last summer, Brent explained the concept behind his series Re-Inventing the Wheel: “After September 11th I thought that we had to redo things. So the series is called Re-inventing the Wheel because the wheel became symbolic of how we use oil all the time for our ‘freedom machines’ [cars], and the effect that humans have on the environment.”
The title itself suggests an ambitious project, but Brent was an ambitious person. He was passionate about the environment; he was passionate about people; he was passionate about how we’re all connected to one another. Seeing Brent’s dedication to the intersection of art and the environment was truly inspiring. In a testament to what a great person he was, even though I only knew Brent for a short time, I still considered him a friend.
To hear Brent talk about Re-Inventing the Wheel and his other works in Sculpture in the Glen, you can watch the video below (the whole video is worth a watch, but Brent comes in at 4:45).
Brent is survived by his wife, artist Gina Pierleoni, and their son, Trane Crothers.