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British-American artist Keith van der Walde (b.1976 Manchester England) is a California-based painter specializing in patterned mark making. Leveraging his background in science and engineering, Keith invokes analytical frameworks and iterative empirical methodologies in the creation of his works. Celebrating and building upon the work of Keith Haring, and drawing inspiration from such luminaries as Jean Dubuffet, Joan Miro, and Yayoi Kusama, Keith combines the familiar with the new as he sets out his own aesthetic language.

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“I paint constellations of patterned elements that exist in collective equilibrium yet are composed of forms imbued with individual and varied energetic character. I strive to impart a grace and vitality to each form. By choreographing their movement and interplay, I am creating dialogue: one form predominating, another receding; one pushing, another pulling; one striking a dissonant note, another elucidating the greater harmony.”

Keith engages his audience with themes of joy, inclusivity, and hopefulness.

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Artist, designer, inventor, engineer, research scientist.

Keith's formal training is in engineering, and life-long passion is in the visual arts. He works on problems across this broad spectrum and finds one discipline enriches the other.

ENGINEERING EDUCATION

Ph.D. Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, 2005 
M.S. Mechanical Engineering, Purdue University, 2002 
B.S. Mechanical Engineering, University of Portland, 1999 

ART EDUCATION

Classes/Workshops at Art Center College of Design, University of California San Diego, San Diego State University, Woodbury School of Architecture, Mesa College, City College, and online courses. Extensive independent study in drawing, painting, art history, photography, rendering, product design, graphic design, typography, calligraphy.

 

TECHNICAL OVERVIEW

Keith's engineering and research pursuits have mostly been focused on contributing to innovations in space exploration. For example, he supported Mars rover mobility system development  by running multi-body dynamic simulations of touchdown scenarios to ensure safe landing. His research in advanced thermoelectric materials has promoted discovery in deep space power generation. Keith's design of the primary structure for a rocket launching system has enabled engineers to put instrumentation like communications satellites into orbit. Keith's doctoral research led to advancements in our understanding of the fatigue performance of aluminum alloys, with implications for aircraft safety and fleet management.   (Details below)

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CREATIVE OVERVIEW

Keith's creative pursuits have included re-imagining multiple everyday objects, including, for example, designing lines of sculptural tables, lighting systems, and clocks.

Also, a very prominent focus for Keith has been inventing and patenting a means of displaying large-scale segmented art. This versatile art presentation platform has given rise to numerous additional products.  (Details below)

Professional Engagement

 

Artist and Designer
VAN DER WALDE DESIGN, LLC (2011 - present)
Fine art & design practice of Keith van der Walde, with primary focus on the creation of original painted works and the development, patenting, and deployment of Keith's cable-suspended art systems. Featured in the present body of work (paintings LT21 and LT37),... 

Aerospace Engineer
ATA Engineering, Inc. (2006 - 2011)
Provided research and engineering support for robotic space exploration, structural/mechanism design and analysis, and advanced aerospace materials development. Performed dynamic simulations of Mars Science Laboratory (Curiosity Rover) landing event in... 

Doctoral Researcher
Purdue University (2002-2005)
Developed computational framework for modeling fatigue damage evolution in aerospace alloys for Alcoa, Division of Product Design and Analysis. Research drew from the disciplines of applied mechanics, material science, computer programming, scanning electron... 

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THE ENERGY OF KEITH