100 Colorado Creatives 3.0: Sean O’Meallie

Sean O'Meallie, "Tsunami Pull Toy," painted wood, cord.
Sean O'Meallie, "Tsunami Pull Toy," painted wood, cord.
Courtesy of Sean O'Meallie

#82: Sean O'Meallie

To call Colorado Springs artist Sean O’Meallie’s work playful is an understatement: His brightly colored wooden sculptures are toys wittily transformed into fine art and dimensional cartoons. O’Meallie’s affinity for toys led to an early career as a toy inventor in New York; he’s now a full-time artist, channeling the whimsy of his chosen field into galleries and public places around the globe. Peek inside O’Meallie’s rich world via his answers to the 100CC questionnaire.

A portrait of the artist.
A portrait of the artist.
Courtesy of Sean O'Meallie

Westword: If you could collaborate with anyone in history, who would it be, and why?

Sean O'Meallie: The wind. Someone outside the art realm, maybe. Do you know who Stewart Brand is? 

Who in the world is interesting to you right now, and why?

Hey, look at this wind map!  

What's one art trend you want to see die this year?

I’d like to say trendy rehashes fueled by shallow social impulses with seemingly no end, but from this froth original relevant discoveries spring. So, no particular thing.

Sean O'Meallie, "Poly Poly," found object installation, Colorado Springs.
Sean O'Meallie, "Poly Poly," found object installation, Colorado Springs.
Courtesy of Sean O'Meallie

What's your day job?

I make fresh objects and place them in the river? I sculpt.

A mystery patron offers you unlimited funds for life. What will you do with it?

I’d build a playground near the river, then I’d go back to my studio.

Denver (or Colorado), love it or leave it? What keeps you here?

I’m here because of the constant immersion in the visually startling, severe and transforming nature of this area of the planet and the socio-cultural opportunities.

Sean O'Meallie, "I Feel Strange," painted wood.EXPAND
Sean O'Meallie, "I Feel Strange," painted wood.
Courtesy of Sean O'Meallie

What's the one thing Denver (or Colorado) could do to help the arts?

If there are exceptional artists in the area, don’t wait for them to enter the usual public process for making art happen. Request something from those artists and finance their creating something significant. Money is not usually what inspires great art. These exceptional persons are only here for a short time, so get on it. Please note that art resulting from consensus of a committee is regrettable nine out of ten times and usually amounts to decoration marking a fashion episode outdated by the time it’s realized. The evidence is everywhere. Why do we do it this way? There should be a name for this.

Who is your favorite Colorado Creative?

I think of curators with vision and anyone who can see possibility freshly and make things happen. 

Sean O'Meallie, "Walking Wave," painted wood.
Sean O'Meallie, "Walking Wave," painted wood.
Courtesy of Sean O'Meallie

What's on your agenda in the coming year?

I have to travel a bit, but then I’ll return to the studio for some commissions and upcoming gigs. 

Who do you think will get noticed in the local arts community in the coming year?

There are so many people who are poised for great accomplishments. Denver is reaching a great cultural period, and the art that occurs in this time frame will be a telling record of what happened.

Sean O'Meallie, "Rainbow Bread," painted wood.EXPAND
Sean O'Meallie, "Rainbow Bread," painted wood.
Courtesy of Sean O'Meallie

See Sean O’Meallie’s public art sculpture “Balloon Man Running” at Central Park Station, 8175 East Smith Road, on the University of Colorado A Line commuter rail to Denver International Airport. Learn more about Sean O’Meallie online.

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