Chris Wubbena holds an MFA in Art with a Sculpture Emphasis from San Francisco State University, and a BFA in Art with a Sculpture Emphasis and a Creative Writing Minor from the University of Northern Iowa. His work has been exhibited in outdoor and indoor exhibitions throughout the United States, including The Chicago Sculpture Exhibit, Chicago, IL; speaking while listening, The Armory Gallery at Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA; Scale, 3D4D Gallery, Chicago, IL; The Conversation, Art St. Louis, St. Louis, MO; WVU Sculpture Tour, Morgantown, WV; Santa Clara Biennial Indoor/Outdoor Sculpture Exhibition, Santa Clara, CA; A Southern Perspective on Prints: 2005 New Orleans Triennial, New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA; and the 49th Annual Delta Exhibition, Arkansas Arts Center, Little Rock, AR where he received the Grand Award. Wubbena has also completed a number of commissioned projects. The public sculpture titled Commence, commissioned by the City of Cape Girardeau and Southeast Missouri State University, was completed for the Fountain Street Roundabout in 2017, and the public sculpture titled Forward, commissioned by Mississippi Power Company, in Gulfport, Mississippi was completed in 2007 to commemorate the work done by Mississippi Power employees during and after the events surrounding Hurricane Katrina. In addition, Wubbena has been awarded various grants for the completion of larger indoor installation projects, including a Mississippi Arts Commission Visual Arts Fellowship with funding from the National Endowment for the Arts for the completion of Wubbena’s de minimis series and a Grants and Research Funding Committee Grant from Southeast Missouri State University to complete a project titled speaking while listening, which is an expression, through sculptural installation, of the Viet Nam/American war and its contemporary relevance. He is currently a tenured Full Professor of Sculpture at Southeast Missouri State University.
As an artist, Wubbena fluctuates between interdisciplinary ways of working, focusing on mixed-media sculptural compositions, multi-media installations, and large-scale public sculptures. Such fluctuation allows for a wide range of expressive capabilities, stretching from the creation of lasting monumental sculptures to transitory moments. The reference of historical and geologic documentation is often apparent in his work, whether through sedimentary layering represented in sculptural form, the accumulation and erosion of text and imagery across surfaces, or the melding of seemingly disparate conglomerate materials and objects.
Currently, his work focuses on what we, as individuals, carry. Like historic Caryatids or Atlases holding up architectural and cultural structures, we assume the weight of our past, present, and future. Our bodies and lives become an admix of accumulated experiences, sights, sounds, textures, stories, and thoughts, all at times simplistically beautiful and at times cacophonously overwhelming. Each sculpture exists in a state of perpetual action and reaction as their bodies construct, erode, and twist under their own burdens. They ask how much is enough, question their own carrying capacities, while gracefully wandering and precariously living in the midst of things.