In 1952 sculptor John Edward Svenson assisted in building the “Bull Wall,” a brick relief that adorns the Millard Sheets Gallery patio. Fifty years and many return visits later, his sculptures will be displayed in the Gallery as part of the “Carved, Chiseled, Cast: Figurative Sculpture” theme at the 2002 L.A. County Fair, Sept. 13-29, at Fairplex in Pomona.
Svenson was born in Los Angeles in 1923. The California native attended Scripps College and Claremont Graduate School where he worked with local sculptor Albert Stewart.
Many of Svenson’s sculptures have adorned the Fair throughout the past 40 years. Svenson first became known for his talents in 1953 with the completion of the “Ranchero,” a 22-foot-high, 17-½ ton redwood sculpture. The “Ranchero,” originally located in the Court of the Redwoods, was rededicated and moved to the front entrance of the gallery in 2001. Svenson worked on previous attractions for the Fair and also created the Wine Competition award medallion that is currently used.
Svenson is a fellow in the National Sculpture Society, a member of the Society of Medallists and twice received the American Institute of Architecture Award for Excellence in Sculpture.
Svenson’s sculptures are made from bronze, steel, cast stone, wood and ceramic and include local area works such as, “Sun Dancer,” a bronze porpoise fountain for the Laguna Niguel Ritz-Carlton, “George Chaffey” at Ontario Airport and 22 sculptures for Home Savings and Loan banks.
The Millard Sheets Gallery will display 31 of Svenson’s sculptures, medallions and plaques including “Mermaid,” “St. Francis” and “Hall of Fame for Great Americans Commemorative Medallion.”
For more information about the Millard Sheets Art Gallery or the Fair call (909) 623-3111 or visit the Web site at www.lacountyfair.com.
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