Neil Tetkowski creates art that communicates beyond cultural barriers. It is with this global perspective that his artwork is embraced throughout the world. Tetkowski has led many public art performances with community participation. These events and installations reflect his conviction that art can be a vital community process accessible to a broad audience. His material of choice comes directly from the Earth, and most often he uses clay, which he believes is the perfect medium to express his relationship to the natural environment.
Some of Tetkowski’s projects have evolved into cultural, ecological and geopolitical exploration. In 2000, the artist conceived and built a sculpture at the United Nations using a blend of earth materials from every nation. There he physically involved people from every country of the world. The Common Ground World Project was officially endorsed at the United Nations as an environmental project and was exhibited in its completed form in 2002 at the Visitor’s Lobby in New York.
Neil Tetkowski spent his early years in Siena, Italy, where he attended grammar school for several years. Both parents were in the arts and this provided an early foundation for what would become a lifetime passion for creativity, education, and a fascination with diverse cultures of the world. Before his tenth birthday, Tetkowski had crossed the Atlantic Ocean three times by ship and had visited museums and cultural landmarks in more than twenty countries.
Since 1980 Tetkowski has exhibited his artwork in galleries and museums. He has a special interest in Asian culture and has had three solo exhibitions in Tokyo and a major solo show in Beijing. In 2015 Rethinking Mythos: A Mid-career Retrospective of Neil Tetkowski was featured at the Canadian Clay and Glass Gallery in Ontario. Tetkowski’s artwork is widely published and is represented in the permanent collections of fifty museums, including the Victoria and Albert Museum in London, the Smithsonian Institution in Washington, D.C., and the Museum of Modern Art Kogaikan in Tokyo. Neil Tetkowski holds degrees from Alfred University and Illinois State University. He has been the Director of University Galleries at Kean University in New Jersey, professor at Denison University in Ohio, the State University College at Buffalo, and at Parsons School of Design in New York City. Neil Tetkowski lives in Manhattan and his studio is in the Bronx.