10' × 5' × 2'
click photos to enlarge
HOW LONG HAVE YOU BEEN SCULPTING?
WHAT GOT YOU INTO THIS MEDIUM?
What got me into this particular medium was the challenge of manipulating the cold, flat, hard steel with fire and hammers and making it bend to the will of my creative vision.
WHERE DID THE INSPIRATION FOR THIS SELECTED PIECE DERIVE?
The inspiration for this selected piece derived from the tragedy of Hurricanes "Katrina" and "Rita." After such devastating loss of life and property, our country pooled together to assist those that needed it most. It's my contribution to the year 2005 which saw a record number of hurricanes that year.
TELL US ABOUT THE CHALLENGES ASSOCIATED WITH CRAFTING THIS PIECE.
The main challenge associated with crafting this piece was the amount of physical strength required to "muscle" the flat steel into curves and bends. Even with the use of fire, there still was the challenge to bend the steel while it was red hot and not to bend it as it cools because it could cause stress in the metal and crack.
HOW LONG DID IT TAKE YOU TO COMPLETE THIS PIECE?
I usually don't count the hours anymore. I just work until it's finished, but I would say from start to finish, 6 - 8 weeks.
HOW DO YOU WANT THE SCULPTURE GARDEN AUDIENCE TO LOOK AT YOUR WORK?
I want the Sculpture Garden audience to look at my work and say to themselves "How did he do that?" I want them to read the title and see the abstract swirling affect of the hurricane and that the five rings represent the two major and three minor hurricanes of 2005.
WHAT WOULD YOU HOPE THE AUDIENCE TAKES AWAY FROM YOUR PIECE?
I hope that the audience takes away from my piece a greater appreciation for the men and women that work in this type of medium. I want them to reflect upon those that did lose everything and can appreciate what they have and treasure it.
WHAT OTHER ARTISTS INSPIRE YOU?
Other artists that inspire me are many, but the main four are: Henry Moore, Isamu Noguchi, Constantine Brancusi and Richard Hunt out of Chicago. Richard Hunt — because he was the first African American Sculptor that I became aware of and after contacting him, we became friends.
WHY DO YOU DO THE WORK YOU DO?
I do the work that I do because of my deep down belief that when God blesses you and gives you a certain talent, it's our responsibility to share it with others in a positive light. Besides, I love the challenge of looking at a tree stump, or a block of stone, or sheets of metal and turning them into works of art. Where other people just look at things, I see things.
WHERE DO YOU HAVE OTHER WORKS?
I have other works in several places around the US. I have work in Oklahoma, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia, Alabama, Illinois, Kansas, Maryland, Louisiana, Wisconsin, Missouri, and one internationally, in Germany.
HOW DO YOU FINANCE THE WORK THAT YOU DO?
I finance the work that I do through my position as a Professor of Art at the University of Central Arkansas as well as through sales, commissions, and grants.