aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things,
inward significance." -Aristotle
Richard Arnold creates
soul in bronze. He forms clay into heart. He captures a depth in his work that
marks him as a master. This is why he has been commissioned for the Telluride
Miners' Memorial, a work that must speak of not only the hardships and
struggles of the miners, but one that also recreates the courage of the man who
brought the miners together in unity, hope, trust, and peace. A real leader is
one who thinks only of those he serves and is willing to risk his life for
friend and enemy alike. Such a man was Vincent St. John, and Richard's hands
will bring St. John back to life in bronze.
"Working in clay and wax,
then having my art cast in bronze, I attempt to capture the spirit and
personality of the subject," Richard says. " My sculptures are sensitive,
personal and from the heart."
The phrase, "I attempt"
comes from his gentleness and humility, for all his work achieves his goal and
more. Of his major works, his Mobile, Alabama Vietnam veteran, called
"Remembering," illustrates the power of his gift. Richard, a member of the
Vietnam Vets of America, created this pensive, life-sized sculpture as a
reminder of the sacrifices of those who fought in the Vietnam War. Clad in a
baseball cap, jeans, jungle boots and a military jacket, the former soldier
wears a POW-MIA bracelet and clenches the dog tag of a friend who wasn't
fortunate enough to return home. He stands alone in front of the wall of names,
no platform or base to set him apart from the flesh-and-blood viewers. In the
soft twilight of creeping night some viewers have mistaken the sculpture for a
real man, afraid to go closer, afraid to disturb his remembering. This speaks
volumes of Richard's power to capture spirit.
A sister of a Vietnam veteran said
of the Mobile sculpture: "I won't get tired of saying how much I love the
Vietnam Vet memorial - not only for its heart, beauty, and simplicity, but
because the artist captured the deepest bond of the soldier, his bond to life,
not death. This soldier is my brother Dan, and he's Dan's heartbreak for lost
buddies and Dan's memories of that war that left him empty. I am deeply moved
by this work."
While many other memorial sculptures depict soldiers in
combat, Richard's masterwork reflects contemporary veterans looking back on
what they and their fellow soldiers endured. Arnold donated the sculpture to
the Lower Alabama Vietnam Veterans Memorial at Battleship Park, Mobile,
The son of a Colorado coal
miner, Richard Arnold has enjoyed earlier careers in both the construction and
aviation industries. He has lived in many parts of the United States, and
studied with noted artists. His commercial contractor background enables him to
work with community members and leaders to envision public sculpture that
captures the unique character of local culture. Richard imbues each piece with
the humanity of the place where it becomes a heart-work for the townspeople.
Currently Richard is finishing a veterans' memorial for the town of Fruita,
Colorado. His other works include the following public and private bronzes:
Cast in bronze,
armed with schoolbooks and dressed in a hooded sweatshirt with a bag slung over
her shoulder, Sofia stands at the Middle/High School bus stop in Telluride,
perpetually waiting for the bus. Sofia was unveiled in March 2005 as the first
bronze sculpture commissioned by the Art in Public Places Program. Her name
comes from the San Sofia mountain range that rises along Telluride's north
side. The name, Sofia, is from the Greek word for wisdom.
Richard was the
featured artist for Telluride's 14th annual WILD WEST FEST 2005, hosted
by the Sheridan Arts Foundation. For the event he created Lisa, a bas-relief
sculpture. A photograph of Lisa was superimposed over the bronze for the event
poster. During the festival, Richard held a poster signing at which the
sculpture was auctioned as an event fundraiser. Every year the WILD WEST
FEST brings at-risk youth to Telluride for a week of theater, dance and
outdoor activities. The event always honors a celebrated artist who
participates in the festivities.
Richard's bronze bust of a young boy
captures the innocence and beauty of eternal youth. The little boy shines with
hope as he gazes into the future. The sculpture is a portrait of a real child,
astoundingly and flawlessly recreated.
Richard shares his gifts with Telluride students,
both young and old, through the classes he teaches at the Ah Haa School. He
offers a six-week course to Middle and High School students in the fall, where
he introduces sculpture materials and techniques. Students gain hands-on
experience using plastilene or water-based clay on an armature, and have the
opportunity to work with live models. Richard also offers an adult introductory
course in portrait sculpture, held at various times throughout the year.
The Arnold Studio is in
Telluride, Colorado 81435
Top see more of Richard
Arnold's works, visit his online gallery at
Email the artist:
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Kwakwhá! Tapadh leibh!
Copyright by TMM 2005
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