Artist Profile: Kevin Roth
I stopped by Kevin Roth’s on Friday to check out his latest project and found him hard at work on his magnificent new Fish House. He aims to get it finished in time for the county fair. Surrounded by the materials of his craft Kevin’s workspace resembles a cross between a curiosity shop and a junkyard. Repurposing found materials is key to his work. Looking at a discarded cement mixer lining and seeing a giant fish is the magic part. Actually creating a Fish House out of found materials requires hard work and skills.
Kevin is an advocate for keeping shop and art classes in our schools and for good reasons. As a student these were the classes that were the most meaningful to him. As a teenager he got into cars, motorcycles, and learned to weld. The combination of his metalworking skills, sense of humor, and impulse to repurpose cast off materials join to create artworks that tickle our imaginations and delight us with the results.
When I asked Kevin what he would like people to know about his work he said, “It’s not for the tourists and it’s not for the money”. Not that tourists don’t enjoy his work. His Pineapple and the Strawberry House are bonafide roadside attractions on the West Side Rd. People stop, take pictures, and leave him love notes. The purpose for the work though says Roth, is “to spread whimsy across the land”. Don’t miss Kevin’s Fish House at the fair this year. “It’s for the kids” says Roth, adding… “and we’re all kids.”