Sculptor Wayne Potratz is a nationally and internationally recognized master of metal casting techniques whose work has been exhibited in major galleries and museums around the world. A St. Paul native, he taught studio arts at the University of Minnesota for over three decades and has been an instructor and mentor to a number of artists at The Grand Hand.
The artist’s work reflects both his passion for the natural world – in particular for Minnesota’s Boundary Waters – and his extensive practice with Asian casting traditions. He works primarily in iron and bronze and frequently incorporates other natural materials in pieces that stem from his own personal symbols and stories. Recent works including “Trailmarker” and “Everything I Ever Knew” evidence the introspection and gentle humor he brings to his work.
Wayne earned a BA in art at Macalester College in St. Paul and graduated with an MA in sculpture from the University of California at Berkeley – where he was a teaching assistant to the sculptor Harold Paris – in 1966. He has been the recipient of a number of McKnight Foundation grants and won a Bush Foundation Sabbatical Fellowship for research in Japan and England in 1995.
Wayne’s work is represented in collections including those of Thrivent Financial (formerly Lutheran Brotherhood) in Minneapolis and Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. His sculpture is on view at the Grand Hailea Hyatt Hotel in Maui and at the Karnataka Chitrakaia Trust Kejeriwal International Gallery in Bangalore, India. He has been commissioned to create pieces from funereal objects to outdoor sculpture and has applied his skill to the restoration of antique architectural elements and fixtures. Especially interested in how the eventual owner of an artwork completes the artist’s process, Wayne likes to keep a record of those who have acquired his work over the years.