Meet Peter Meder and Chris Chomick


Today we’d like to introduce you to Peter Meder and Chris Chomick.

Every artist has a unique story. Can you briefly walk us through yours?
The husband and wife team of Peter Meder and Chris Chomick have been working together for forty years. They met in 1978, while employed as clerks in an art supply store in the Chicago loop and discovered their mutual fascination with puppets, stop-motion films, and mechanical toys.

Inspired by their interests in puppets and animation, they immediately began collaborating on various projects; one of the first being a stop-motion animated puppet of the Dutch Boy for Sherwin Williams Paints. This began a career creating special effects for national television commercials.

Please tell us about your art.
“We make automata.”

This answer to the question of our employment usually leaves the inquirer with a puzzled look on their face as they mentally try to decipher the meaning of our statement. “Automata, what’s automata?” Our response of, “we make moving figures” turns a light on; “Oh, like those dancing Santas, I have one of those.” Technically correct, but not really.

We have been asked what draws us to creating automata. While we enjoy creating static figures there is something special when the figure “comes to life”. We think of them first as puppets and marionettes but using mechanisms to perform as the puppeteer. The moving figure, for just a moment, draws the observer into their mysterious world.

For the observer there is a difference between viewing a sculpted figure and being entertained by a puppet or marionette without visible means behind the movement. But the joy of watching a puppet show is as close to the feeling we want to achieve when creating an automaton.

Given everything that is going on in the world today, do you think the role of artists has changed? How do local, national or international events and issues affect your art?
We do not use our work to make political or social statements although some pieces have been influenced by exterior events. One is an automaton encased in a glass jar titled “Hermes” as in “hermetically sealed” in his glass bubble to protect him from the outside world.

How or where can people see your work? How can people support your work?
We exhibit at conventions like AutomataCon and Florida CraftArt Gallery in St. Petersburg, Florida and sell directly to collectors through the annual NIADA Conference and the internet, mainly our website which connects us to collectors and other artists.

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