GREG PETTENGILL
ARTIST'S BIOGRAPHY

Greg Pettengill was born Gregory Paul Gerard Brooks in Gross Point, Michigan, on March 6, 1953.  He lived with his family in the upper and lower peninsula of Michigan until his Junior High School years, when his mother was remarried.  She married Dr. Robert B. Pettengill and she and her children moved to the Albany, New York, area with him.

Greg
comes from a large extended family:  He has five sisters and one natural brother, one step sister and three step brothers, one of whom is deceased.  None of his family members are professional artists, but they are teachers, engineers, and health care providers such as physical therapists and psychologists.  Greg's Grandfather was a baker and his Grandmother was a school high school teacher. 

His Mother was teaching Political Science at Delta College in Michigan when she met his Stepfather, a Professor of Economics who was also teaching there.  Dr. Robert B. Pettengill was a pacifist and had been blacklisted as a "Communist" by HUAC or HUCA in the McCarthy Era, losing his position at Stanford University in California.  He worked for the Ford Foundation before returning to teaching and retiring from SUNY, the State University of New York at Albany.    Dr. Pettengill heavily influenced Greg's development by instilling in him an appreciation for
unstructured learning and life-long self-education.    This has profoundly shaped his World View and philosophy.

Greg's ethnicity is French Canadian/Huron Indian.  His Native American background has influenced his work beyond his heritage.  One of his ancestors who also influenced Greg's life is Etienne Brule'
(1592–1632), a French European Explorer who lived with the Huron Indians, and who is credited as being the first European to see the Great Lakes.

Greg's Great Grandmother's maiden name was Cote', and he uses that name as his "name de plume" and for his Art and Engineering Company. 

Since High School, Greg has lived all over the United States, including Vermont, Arizona, California, and in the Washington D.C., Metropolitan Area. 
He currently lives in Mims, Florida, and has lived there since early Fall of 2000.  He lives with a beautiful, wonderful, elegant, intelligent and perfect Abyssinian cat named Iza, who keeps him out of trouble and gives him plenty of exercise feeding and brushing her.

Greg first decided to become an artist in his mid-teens.  In planning his career, he decided that he did not want to end up "sitting behind a desk working in some office."  He had started working as a dishwasher at L'Ecole, a local French restaurant when he was fifteen, and decided to go to the Culinary Institute of America.  He worked as a cook for a number of years.  Once he realized that in order to advance in his career in the culinary arts, he would have to become an Executive Chef, which would mean he would no longer get to cook, he decided to change careers. 

Meanwhile, in 1973, at the age of 21, Greg attended the first Summer Social Ecology Studies Program at Goddard College, in Plainfield, Vermont.  It was an unusual program  at the time, and the only program that studied Alternative Energies, with which he was fascinated and is still actively involved.  Social Ecology has since become a fully accredited field of study, now Goddard College offers degrees all the way up to Doctorate.  Social Ecology is very much like Anthropology, in that it studies how human beings have interacted with their environment in the past, where as Social Ecology studies how human beings interact with their environment in the present and in the future.  Greg's work today is still heavily influenced by the things he learned in that Summer Program more than 30 years ago.

Greg next got a job as a apprentice
manual machinist at Bruno Machinery for better pay, better hours, and better benefits, and did not have to worry about doing what he didn't want to--"sit in an office behind a desk".  One of the things Bruno Machinery did was rebuild machine tools, and the best of those were CNC (computer numerical control) automatic machine tools.  He became involved in rebuilding these tools, which was his first introduction to computers.

He kept working as a machinist and went to the California College of Arts and Crafts because he wanted to become a Metal Sculptor.  The only schools that were offering anything in the metal arts were colleges like the California College of Arts and Crafts, and the only available classes in metal arts were in jewelry design.

Greg moved to Colorado where he started working as a machinist in TDC, a job shop.  He was laid off as a machinist there, and was hired at another large company that made pneumatic rock drills.  His interest in the machining industry began to wain, so he took an enormous cut in pay to go to work in a Metal Sculpture Foundry, Fedde Bronze. 

He advanced as a machinist and through self-education became a Manufacturing Engineer.  One of the phases he went through during his career was being a R&D (Research & Development) Machinist.  While working for Raychem Corp., he took a course in CAD (Computer Aided Drafting) at a community college in Raleigh, NC and bought himself a computer so that he could to practice his new skill.  In 1987, the first State-of-the-Art Stereolithography machine was released by 3D Systems.   This technology is revolutionizing the manufacturing industry and providing extremely powerful tools for Fine Artists and Industrial Designers alike.   These seemingly magical devices produce finished parts directly from 3D CAD drawings.


In March of 2006 Greg met Ms. Terri Markle while attending the "Professional Face of Art" Workshop taught by Steve Aimone at the Atlantic Center for the Arts in New Smyrna Beach, FL.   This inspired them to collaborate in the creation of the PAW (Professional Artist's Web) Workshops.

Recently he has established The United Artist's Way.  The U.A.W. is dedicated to the principal of artists helping artists.  By facilitating them in a holistic manner, from global efforts to local ones, the U.A.W. seeks to foster and support artists and creative people everywhere. 

He has also spearheaded Alternative Energy Projects such as the Open Source Solar Energy Cooking and Canning Project.   The objective of this project is to design and develop practical, Up-To-Date ways for individuals and communities to take advantage of Solar Power for cooking and preserving their food.

His
current Fine Art Projects include, but are not limited to, designing and producing jewelry, 3D drawings, and sculpture.

The most significant thing Greg has done in the field of Public Art is working in collaboration with Raymond Kaskey to build and install Portlandia, in Portland, Oregon.   Portlandia is based on a figure in Portland's city seal of a woman, dressed in classical clothes, who welcomes traders into the port of the city. The sculpture is placed on the a landing on the third floor of the Portland Building. The sculpture is 36 feet tall.  Portlandia is the largest hammered copper statue in the world since the Statue of Liberty in New York City, dedicated on October 28, 1886.

Greg Pettengill works in a wide range of media, including, but not limited to, metal, plastics, wood, paints, and of course, digital or virtual media.  He is a generalist, and has never met a medium he didn't like.  He is interested in trying to develop skills using various media and believes that the medium is really incidental to that.  In stating this, he is not trying to diminish the importance of the medium but thinks the skill that the artist develops in using the medium is more important.  Rather than viewing his work as a traditional artist might, he looks more at the skills and craftsmanship that can be developed.  Yes, he believes, it is all about the process.  The techniques of working in a medium are what he studies and what interests him.  He is much more of a progressive artist than a traditionalist,  and he appreciates the power of modern tools.  Greg says that the stereotype of an artist wielding only a brush on canvas is not what he is about. 

Greg admires the work of M.C. Escher, David Smith, Cristo, Louis Comfort Tiffany, and Salvador Dali, and the associated movements developed by these artists are very influential in Greg's life and artwork. 

Most of Greg Pettengill's work is housed in the homes of family and friends world wide.  A lot of his work also resides in the virtual universe. 

In addition to his personal art work and his work as a Free Lance Artist and Engineer, Greg is a founding member of FREA, the Florida Renewable Energy Association, and is very accomplished at spelunking.  He was a longtime member of the Mohawk Hudson Grotto in Troy, New York.



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