John’s father, Charles Haertling, was an architect who used extraordinary shapes and uncommon materials to make houses that look like sculptures. John worked with his father as a designer while in high school and college, where he became aware of his father’s visionary style and his unique use of materials.
In 1988 he started “Haertling.com”. First making sculptures which he sold in local galleries, then making art-furniture and a line of jewelry made from recycled, mixed metals. In 1986 he was commissioned to make an 11’ tall concrete sculpture for the City of Boulder. His career changed quickly when a local business person asked John if he could use his art techniques for sculptural pieces used as awards. From this point, John has made awards by mixing natural stone, crystal and other materials into one-of-a-kind compositions. He refers to his awards as “Art with a Purpose”.
His works were selected to honor world leaders as a gift from Colorado Governor Roy Romer at the Summit of Eight in Denver in 1997, and, for the last 20 years he has been the selected artist for the United States Olympic Committee, producing art pieces used as ambassador gifts for summer and winter games and VIP gifts. The reach of John’s style even stretches to cultural icons also; Sting, Mariah Carey and Ring Star are just a few of over a one thousand musical artists who have received a piece of John’s art after their performance at the historic Red Rocks Amphitheatre near Denver since 1988.