Cody VanderKaay has lived in both rural and suburban environments of the Midwestern, Southern and Western United States, instilling an interest in vernacular architectural forms and regional specificities. Periodic relocation and travel allowed him to experience a variety of living situations, routines, pastime activities and occupations that inevitably shaped his curiosity. The son of a residential contractor, he was frequently exposed to architecture, carpentry, trade-labor and the graphic art of drafting. As a young man, he trained himself in a number of related skills before art-making became his principal interest.
VanderKaay's artwork unscientifically examines how individuals, objects and spaces interrelate through proximity and exchange, and how relationships between these entities build and collapse over time. Archetypal forms, such as houses, and still life motifs such as vases are often utilized to personify the fixed/unfixed nature of human interaction. VanderKaay uses various methods of fabrication, mold making, casting, assemblage, drawing and collage to produce thought-provoking sculptures and two-dimensional artworks.
VanderKaay has exhibited at venues across the country such as Arena 1 Gallery (CA), Atlanta Contemporary (GA), DC Arts Center (DC), Snug Harbor Cultural Center (NY), Soo Visual Arts Center (MN) and Twin Kittens Gallery (GA), among others. His artwork has appeared in publications such as Sculpture Magazine, Art Papers, Detroit Art Review, New American Paintings and There Magazine, as well as the Artists Space, Drawing Center and White Columns curated artist registries in New York. His work is in private collections such as the Francis J. Greenburger Collection (NY) and he has been an artist-in-residence at the Bemis Center for Contemporary Arts (NE), Jentel (WY) and Joshua Tree Highland House (CA) residency programs.
VanderKaay studied sculpture at Northern Michigan University (BFA), and earned his MFA from the Lamar Dodd School of Art at the University of Georgia. VanderKaay is an Associate Professor of Art at Oakland University in Rochester, MI.