Anneli Arms has never been interested in painting picture-perfect flowers or idealistic landscapes. Instead, her haunting sculptural work ponders some of life’s bigger questions: Who are we? What are we? Are we nothing? Are we something? Where does it all begin and where does it end?
Arms is best known for sculpture and prints of people, animals – both real and fantastic, and famous images, such as the Statue of Liberty. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree from the University of Michigan School of Art (Ann Arbor) in 1958. She also studied at the Art Students League in New York City during the late 1950s with abstract expressionist Morris Kantor as her mentor. Throughout her career Arms has worked as an independent artist, and has exhibited widely, both nationally and internationally.
The focus of her work, “a very elongated look at the nature of the universe – of nature, of self, of humans, and other creatures of all kinds,” she says. “When I began my career, it was at a time when life and death were intermingled. We were bombing Vietnam, I was bringing up a son, and we were going into outer space. These were three very important things as far as I was concerned… and it made me ask, ‘What is life all about?’”