Tim McElroy

Artist statement

First get the facts right then distort them at your leisure.

-Mark Twain

I’ve spent a lot of time in woodshops, at first using them to escape by losing myself in whatever project was on the table. When I first came to college, I was going to study physics and engineering because I liked the idea of making things. But I found that art classes, specifically sculpture, allowed me to make things and gave me a chance to escape. 

I’ve always been a “go with the flow” kind of person and each project seems to reflect this experimental nature. No matter what I do, the majority of projects don’t end up how they’re intended to. As an example, for one project, I made chairs that were intended to be functional and comfortable everyday furniture but instead became DIScomforting sculptures that only looked like chairs. They were wobbly and wiry, split and simple, too minimal for people to feel comfortable sitting in them. Admittedly I enjoyed that reaction way more than had the chairs turned out as normal chairs. I am interested in how people reacted to my chair differently than I’d intended. I liked the emotion that the chairs elicited, especially the discomfort that came from household items that are fully designed with comfort in mind. I like the idea and humor of dysfunctional furniture that should be supporting people and comforting them but instead pushes them away and makes them UNcomfortable. Rusty, wobbly, creaking and barely held together chairs tend to put people on the edge of their seat (pun intended). 

My groupings of furniture, like some dysfunctional families, might look strange on the surface, but at the same time feel right; while others will look similar, but the feelings from each piece won’t share the same vibe. Bringing in manmade and urban objects into the conversation gives each its own kind of personality; following the “rules” of chairs, but also letting me “distort them at my leisure.” 

Tim McElroy


Based in Durham, North Carolina he is a sculptor who focuses on found objects and was interested in making dysfunctional furniture, using welding and woodshop techniques learned both in high school and through his 4 years at Guilford College.