Latino Artists of Los Angeles: Defining Self & Inspiration
   

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 




Last year, the Millard Sheets Gallery hosted a Carl Milles (1875-1955) sculpture exhibition. The enormous interest in sculpture evidenced by this exhibition, coupled with the Gallery's second-year partnership with A Community of Angels, a public art sculpture project, led to labeling 2002, "the year of sculpture.
The origin of sculpture began with early man carving charms, icons and fetishes, mostly for ceremonial use. The purpose of sculpture has not changed much since the beginning. It still commemorates important public figures and events. Many revere sculpture as the highest art form because three-dimensional work provides the viewer with a more direct connection to the artwork than is possible with two-dimensional.


Karin Swildens
Nibble
2001, High fire,
15" x 10" x 4"

Carved, Chiseled, Cast: Figurative Sculpture, this year's Fair exhibition, will present an array of representational, figurative sculpture of both human and animal forms, featuring works of local sculptors, both past and present, who have national credits as well as historic connections to Millard Sheets, or to the L.A. County Fair. An inquiry from Patricia Jump, Albert Stewart's daughter, along with an extraordinary find, the estate of Lawrence Tenney Stevens, gave impetus to the idea of honoring those who have contributed public artworks to our community. The investigative phase mined many treasures of oral history - the interconnections of many of these individuals, with all the dynamics, both positive and negative, of a real family.


One of the most interesting facts, revealed during the research for this exhibition, is the relationship of many of these sculptors to Paul Manship, who, interestingly enough, was a contemporary and rival of Carl Milles. And so it was that Manship's work came to be included as well. Manship became the cap on our story.  A secondary theme for this exhibition emerged as it became apparent how many of the sculptor's had created pieces that express patriotism or that honor our national heritage.

Georgette Unis
Time
2001, Charcoal-fired clay
18" x 16" x 8"
For a long period of time, it seemed that patriotism was out of vogue, but suddenly, a year ago, things shifted dramatically. Tributes abound, especially those expressed through the arts. This theme is carried out through the Gallery's photography exhibition with a tribute by photojournalist, Saint Tuan, to the victims of the 9/11 terrorist event.


In October, 2001, the Millard Sheets Gallery began a new phase, launching the first ever beyond-the-Fair exhibition, followed by another in early 2002. We look forward to the extended length of this year's Carved, Chiseled, and Cast: Figurative Sculpture (October 4-25) as the next link in our continuing effort to bring year-round programming to the Gallery. The opportunity to bring these special programs to our community and to local school children lies with our generous supporters. We want to acknowledge and thank the many people who have made this possible, those who have made membership contributions, those who have given countless hours of volunteer time, those who have attended benefits and especially those who have served on the Millard Sheets Gallery Foundation Board of Directors.


Paul Manship

This exhibition is a celebration of the figure in sculpture. Perhaps, it should be called a homecoming or maybe a family reunion.  The artists are all descendants of Paul Manship, the celebrated American sculptor, and share a connection to Millard Sheets, the dynamic artist whose name graces this gallery. Like all families there are feuds and factions, but they share a common bond and goal- that of celebrating the beauty of nature in various mediums. Their story is that of perseverance of figurative art during the second half of the twentieth century.


Paul Manship
Young Lincoln
1929, Bronze, 18" x 7" x 8"
Minnesota Museum of American Art Collection

After World War II, representational art was considered “old-fashioned” and out-of-date by leading critics and museum curators. It had been pronounced dead by those who write the history of art and consigned to the trash heap of the past. It was now left to weekend artists and amateurs. An alternate direction was being blazed by a new generation of artists pursuing no-representational truth. It was now ignored.

The silence surrounding figurative art was deafening. How quickly the atmosphere had changed! Before the 1930’s abstract art had played a minor role in the American art scene. Now after World War II, it was dominant. For just a decade earlier, the influential critic, Thomas Cravens, had been making an impassioned plea for artists to allow nothing to stand in the way of representational truth. It was now ignored.

Paul Manship
Venus Anadyomene
1924, Bronze, marble base
10 ¾" x 6 ¼" x 4 ¾"
Minnesota Museum of American Art Collection
There had been a great surge in activity with figurative art with the establishment of the Federal Art Programs by the United States government during the depression. The four major work-relief programs (The Public Works of Art Project, The Treasury Section of Painting and Sculpture, The Treasury Relief Art Project, and the Works Progress Administration/ Federal Art Project) employed thousands of artists and supported an entire generation who otherwise would have been forced to abandon their artistic careers. Among them were many artists who would later lead the abstract rebellion such as Mark Rothko, Lee Krasner, and Jackson Pollock.

The public sector of the Federal Arts Programs, whose duty it was to decorate government buildings and parks, had turned to representational art to celebrate that which had made America strong. It wanted an art form that the public could easily understand and images that would reassure a badly shaken American public to believe in their government. This was much the same as the Florentine political and religious leaders who had turned to their artists during crisis to create images supporting the Signoria and Church.
The turn away from representational art began with the Armory show in 1913, when America was first exposed on a large scale to new European ideas on art. It continued in earliest after World War I when a generation of American artists studying in Paris began importing new concepts of the role of art. This gained momentum with a surge of artist-immigrants to our country, many of whom began teaching and passing on their philosophies to younger artists. Without doubt, the most important of these was Marcel Duchamp whose questioning the very foundations and meaning of art with his “ready-mades” was to revolutionize the art world and pave the way for Pop and conceptual art. This was supported by a new generation of museums opening in New York which celebrated the “Modern.” For a “serious” artist, there was only one path available-abstraction. To do anything else was to face exclusion.

 

Paul Manship
Concave-Casqued Hornbill
1932, Gilded bronze, granite base
9 ½ " x 10" x 3 ¾"
Minnesota Museum of American Art Collection

Figurative art had come under a continual assault from the supporters of abstract art riding a wave of new “ism’s.” As Surrealism and abstract Expressionism dominated the art scene figurative artists such as Paul Manship were largely ignored by the art world and savaged by the critics who considered their work meaningless exercises in decoration. The artist/ philosophers demanded that artists must not follow traditions, but invent new ones. It was not enough to be a master of your medium; you must push the boundaries and explore new ideas. Manship and his “family” chose to follow a different path.  

It is with Paul Manship that our story begins. He was the artist that was most sought after for commissions and visible to the public between the two World Wars. He was able to trace a very fine line between traditionalism and the modernism in his work. His call for the creation of art that would harmonize with the industrial world of the city and its architecture sure sounded like a manifesto from any number of “modern” artists. However, he turned to Archaic Greek sculpture for his inspiration. Unlike the new generation, who studied in France and looked to the expressionist power of Auguste Rodin, Manship went to Rome and fell under the spell of the serene perfection of Greek art.

Manship’s love of archaic art was based in no small part on the skill the artists used in creating such stunningly beautiful work. It is no surprise that the trademark of Manship’s work is in the quality of the craftsmanship, something abandoned in our search for the new and better. To be able to measure your work against such an august standard is to force you to perfect your craft. The artists that are assembled here understood that challenge and devoted their careers to that pursuit

Before entering the exhibition you were face-to-face with the fruits of this quest- Monument to the Young Farmers of the Nation (1939) by Lawrence Stevens, who studied with Manship while he was at the American Academy in Rome. The cast stone Is the perfect medium for the sharp contours which cast deep shadows recalling Archaic predecessors. The harmony and movement created by the skillful integration of flowing curves and implied diagonals gives the work a powerful presence. It is fitting that this statue should be placed, in the manner of the Greek before our modern temple dedicated to art.

Orville O. Clarke, Jr.
Associate Professor Art History
Chaffey College

Lawrence Tenney Stevens

Lawrence Tenney Stevens began modeling figures while he was a junior high student in Brighton, Massachusetts. He had witnessed his grandfather, a church minister; carve small items from bits of a broken alabaster vase. Early on, he demonstrated such a natural ability that the Boston School District art supervisor was able to persuade the board to pay for Stevens to attend special evening classes. At graduation, Stevens was accepted to the Boston Museum School where he studied with Bela Pratt.

 


Lawrence Tenney Stevens
America
1941, Plaster, 51" x 30" x 15"
Lawrence Tenney Stevens Trust Collection

In 1917, Stevens interrupted his studies by volunteering for service in the U. S Army. At his return to the Museum School, Stevens met Harold Woodbury Parsons, an influential art collector who advised him t enter the Prix de Rome Competition. Between his first submission and the time he was awarded the prize, a year later, Stevens spent two summers at the Tiffany Foundation in Long Island, founded by Louis Comfort Tiffany to benefit the most promising artists of the day.


Lawrence Tenney Stevens
American Sculptor
c. 1941, Painted plaster
31 ½" x 28" x 15"
Lawrence Tenney Stevens Trust Collection

Before he left for the American Academy in Rome, Stevens met with Daniel Chester French , best known for his creation of the statute in the Lincoln Memorial. French said he envied Stevens’ position. his youth, at a time when Americas was coming of age culturally with promises of activity in the field of sculpture. This affirmation sparked a life-long patriotic mission in which Stevens endorsed American art, made by American artists in the States, with style and subject matter unique t this country. This commitment was reaffirmed soon after Steven’s arrival in Rome when he came to realize that what he had been taught in Boston was strictly based on European Traditionalism. At the Academy only five moths, Steven wrote about the “un-American” American artists who stayed in Europe and followed that tradition because they saw “no hope at all for American art”

Paul Manship served as professor at the Academy during the time Stevens was there. Manship, who won the Prix de Rome n 1909, had found stimulus in Greek sculpture, thus establishing a custom for future fellowship winner to travel to Greece. Stevens caused quite a stir when he elected to travel to Egypt instead. This trip is credited as the pivotal point of his artistic development, with Egyptian artifacts the impetus to follow a simplified vision. Stevens’ new work changed.. It is interesting to note that soon thereafter Manship traveled to Egypt as well, with advice sought from Stevens as to what he should include in his itinerary. Manship’s work was changed by his Egyptian experience, as well.
Upon his return to the United States, Stevens’ Academy wok was shown in New York and at the Boston Museum of Fine Arts where his work enjoyed critical acclaim. With expectations high, he rented a studio in New York, but few commissions materialized, and earlier supporters bemoaned his style change from pre-Rome works. Finally, a serendipitous commission, to sculpt a portrait of a cocker spaniel, afforded him his first trip west, initially to the Grand Canyon, and then to Santa Barbara, California. Stevens eventually located in Cody, Wyoming, where he embraced the west as the stimulus for the “American sculpture” that he longed to create. There he began a western-themed body of work, strongly suspected to have influenced the later-developed decorative fashion known as Cowboy High Style. In 1932, The Buffalo Bill Museum presented Stevens as their first one-man sculpture exhibition.

 

Lawrence Tenney Stevens
Ted Shawn
1936, Bronze, 63" x 24" x 13"
Lawrence Tenney Stevens Trust Collection



Lawrence Tenney Stevens
Monument to the Young Farmers of the Nation (model)
1938, Painted plaster
38" x 26" x 12 ½"
Lawrence Tenney Stevens Trust Collection

Back to New York to work on several projects for the Radio City Music Hall, then t California for a project in Los Gatos, followed by a stay in Hollywood where he worked on an equestrian statue using a horse from Kellogg Ranch in Pomona as the model, then on to a mountain lion hunt in Arizona and big game hunts in the Wyoming Rockies for which created almost a hundred linoleum cuts to illustrate the experience- Stevens was never without an adventure. Stevens had several shows in the Los Angeles area at that time, including one in the Eucalyptus Court of Scripps College. The exhibition included sculpture and a number of watercolors done while on a painting ripe with Millard Sheets in Mexico, 1934. Also of note for that year, is the completion of a small terra cotta sculpture, Dark Cornish, modeled after a prize-winning rooster at the Los Angeles County fair.

In 1935, Stevens was asked to create several sculptures for the Dallas Centennial Fair grounds. There was also an invitation from the New York World’s Fair, to create three giant wooden figures for the 1939 opening. T this same time, Stevens won a competition entered by over 100 sculptors, to build a monument to be placed in front of the art exhibition building at the L.A. County Fair. While completing this project, Steve’s was approached about another commission, a sculpture to grace the Fair’s racetrack entrance. A photograph published in the Pomona Progress Bulletin how’s Stevens modeling the Fair’s grand champion Percheron stallion, Cozettes’s Diplomat Brown. This commission however was never realized.
At the outbreak of World War II, Stevens was in Palm Springs working on a plaster piece called America. Not much is known about the origins of this star-studded bust, but it must have been inspired by patriotic fervor. A photograph of the finished piece, dated December 6, 1941, shows the worlds Liberty and Justice, as originally inscribed on the figure’s head piece. Another sculpture, later cast in bronze was dubbed Pearl Harbor because Stevens was working on it at the exact time the Japanese attacked. Just as he did in the previous war, Stevens volunteered fro the war effort. He was assigned to a secret mission unit, dubbed, Project 19.  

Lawrence Tenney Stevens
Cozette's Diplomat Brown
1938, Painted plaster
23" x 23 ½" x 7"
Lawrence Tenney Stevens Trust Collection

After the war, and after a failed attempt to make Tulsa, Oklahoma, a cultural center for the arts; and after a failed marriage, Stevens, still undaunted in his hope to win major commissions, created American Sculptor. This piece was a statement a self-portrait of a man who believed that America would want to honor it’s war heroes with fitting memorial it was an expression of the confidence he had in his abilities and of his eagerness to put his talents toward such a noble calling.

Steven’s story has a rather sad ending. Along with his second wife, Bea, Stevens built another studio in Tulsa, eventually lost to an airport development, which failed to compensate the couple adequately. They then moved to Arizona, scraping together enough money to set up a home and small studio in Tempe. Stevens revived an earlier attempted commission designed as a tribute to the dancer, Ted Shawn. With the death of Shawn in 1972, Stevens found renewed interest in the project. He and Bea traveled to Italy to have the piece cast but tragically, Stevens died on the voyage home and was never able to perfect the piece by the hand chasing required to complete it.

 

Albert Stewart
Family Group
1961, Bronze, male: 36" x 9" x 6", female: 36" x 8" x 5"
Collection of Herb and Kay Hafif


Albert Stewart
Refugee Memorial (Model)
1962, Plaster, 62" x 32" x 20"
Collection of Mrs. Albert Stewart

Albert Stewart

Albert Stewart was born in England in 1900 of parents involved in music and theater. He came to the United States at age seven . His artistic skills were noted early, 1915-19, in a series of animal sculptures and drawings based on observations at the Central Park and the Bronx Zoos. After what is termed “an irregular schooling,” he went to Canada in 1918 to join the Royal Air Force,. After the war, he returned to New York City to attend the Beaux-Arts Institute of Design and the Art Students League where he studied with Frederick MacMonnies and Paul Manship. Att the time, Manship was enjoying good success with numerous commissions that necessitated employing a number of able young sculptors in both is New York and Paris studios. Stewart worked for Manship for a number of year, becoming a lead assistant by 1930. His experience in the Manship studio had a profound influence on him as an artist. Following Manship’s penchant for archaic work, Stewart, too, grounded his future designs in concepts and stylizations drawn from early sculpture as found in Egypt, Greece, and Rome.

Awards received by Albert Stewart during the twenties and early thirties attest to his early success, especially with animal subjects. For example, he received the Ellin P. Speyer Gold medal, National Academy of Design for Silver King Polar Bear, purchased by the Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York Through the thirties; Stewart enjoyed an extremely active period, with commissions ranging from medals to large architectural decorations. Of note, is the great frieze of the Buffalo City Hall, 1931; pediment for the Department of Labor, Washington, D.C., 1935 and Eagle Sun Dial, an American battle monument, Thiaucourt, France.

There are a number of side comments to add to Stewart’s biography, details that happened prior to Stewart’s move to Claremont, California. In 1932 Albert Stewart became a United States citizen. In 1934, daughter Margaret Patricia (Patricia Stewart Jump) was born. (It is she who is currently focused on the preservation for her father’s legacy).

To sense the scope of Stewart’s early life, a list of his various occupations is in order. Perhaps to augment his income as a sculptor, perhaps to fill in between commissions, Stewart worked at an unbelievable variety of odd jobs- animal trainer, boxer, reporter, professional hockey player and wrestler. It was said that he also had knowledge and skill for every household crisis- the ability to design, construct or repair any and all parts of a house.

In 1939, at the invitation of Millard Sheets, Albert Stewart was appointed to the faculty of Scripps College, Claremont, as Head of Sculpture Studies and Lecturer in the Humanities, where he remained for the next 26 years. The next year Stewart won first prize in sculpture at the L.SA. County Fair. World War II brought an interruption to Stewart’s architectural commissions, so Stewart poured his energy into building his home and studio at Padua Hills.

In the decade after the war, Stewart’s work stretched the range of possibilities, as he explored new directions. There were direct studies, such as Untitled Colt, cubistic styles as in Girl with Lyre, simple, elongated figures à la Carl Milles, and others somewhat reminiscent of the bulky forms of Henry Moore.

 


Albert Stewart
David
1965, Bronze,
55" x 13" x 6"
Collection of Herb Hafif


Albert Stewart
Girl with Lyre
1953, Bronze
51 ½" x 15 ½" x 15"
Collection of Patricia Stewart Jump


Albert Stewart
Untitled, Colt
c. 1942, Bronze with dark rich patina,
10 ½" x 15" x 9"
The Buck Collection


Albert Stewart
Rocky Mountain Goat
1934, Bronze,
28" x 24" x 8"
Collection of Patricia Stewart Jump


Albert Stewart
Small Heron Group
1930, Bronze,
 13 ½" x 7" x 4"
Collection of Patricia Stewart Jump


John Edward Svenson
Sacagawea
c. 1995, Bronze, 22" x 18"
Collection of the artist

In the 1950’s, Stewart enjoyed another period f high demand for public commissions relating o churches, public buildings, banks and commercial institutions. Beyond the Work he did with Millard Sheets for the Home Savings and Loan Banks, Stewart did two carved wood figures, for Oneonta Church, South Pasadena; fourteen Stations of the Cross and two side altar figures for the Church o f Our Lady of the Assumption, Ventura; carved wooden grilles for the front entrance, lectern and pulpit figures for the Community Church, Claremont, three heroic figures for the Los Angeles County courthouse, Los Angeles and eight heroic stone figure groups and 14’ eagle relief for the Scottish Rite Temple, Los Angeles. In 1952, Stewart worked with the assistance of John Svenson to complete the brick façade, known as the Bull Wall, Millard Sheets Gallery patio. Shortly before his death in 1965, Stewart completed Refugee Memorial, a 9’ bronze which was dedicated in Gouda Holland.

John Edward Svenson

John Edward Svenson was born in Los Angeles, California in 1923. After serving n the Air Force, he attended Scripps College, Claremont, California, where he encountered Millard Sheets among other faculty members. Thereafter, he enrolled at the Claremont Graduate School where he studied sculpture under Albert Stewart with whom he later collaborated on many major projects between 1950-1965.

Through the nomination form Albert Stewart and Paul Manship, Svenson was elected to the National Sculpture Society in 1965. he was advanced to Fellow in 1971. Primarily an architectural sculptor, he twice received the American Institute of Architecture Award for Excellence in Sculptor Svenson’s sculpture is located locally as well as nationally in churches, schools, hospitals, banks, civic centers, parks, malls, and corporate buildings.


Svenson was commissioned to create 22 sculptures for Home Savings of America. Other local works include bronze porpoise fountains forth Laguna Niguel Ritz Carlton as well as for Placentia’s Chapman Park; a 35 foot bronze and steel Trailhead sculpture at Foothill Ranch; the San Gabriel Mission Annex façade, History of the Space Program for the city of Garden Grove; the Trek of the Century at San Bernardino County Museum and George Chaffey at Ontario International Airport. For Alaska, he created individual major sculptures pertaining to the history of Juneau, Anchorage, Haines, Valdez, and Skagway.

Svenson is also a member of the Society of Medalists and has created many medallions commemorating important events and historic figures. Examples of his creative output are: Achievement in Space, Northrup Corporation; Twentieth Anniversary medal, Pitzer College; Around the World, Jet Airways; California Beautiful, Pierce Life Insurance as well as commemoratives for the San Bernardino County Bicentennial, the California Wine Industry, and the Alyeska Pipeline. He also sculpted portrait medallions for the kings of Jordan and Saudi Arabia.

 


John Edward Svenson
St. Francis
c. 1980, Bronze, 24" x 13"
Collection of the artist

John Edward Svenson
Bear
1985, Plaster,
23" x 23"
Collection of the artist


John Edward Svenson
Eagle Relief
1985, Plaster,
23" x 23"
Collection of the artist

In terms of his artistic contributions to the L.A. County Fair Svenson assisted Albert Stewart in sculpting the Bull Wall, 1952, a brick relief that defines the perimeter of the Millard Sheets gallery patio. John Svenson is most remembered for his Ranchero, a 22-foot redwood figure that was carved on site in 1953. This sculpture was originally located in the Court of the Redwoods at the rear of the Gallery. In 2001 the sculpture was moved to the front entrance and rededicated. Svenson’s long-term history with the Fair involved countless projects for which e deserves design credit: the monorail system (updated in 1990 and removed in 96), the Gold Mine (closed in 1198), the Children’s Playground (demolished in the mid 80’s), Storybook Farm (now called heritage Square) and numerous fountains. Svenson is also responsible for the award medallion still used for the L.A.’s county Fair Wine Competition.

Svenson took part in one of the most notable exhibitions held during the L.A. county Fair under the directorship of Millard Sheets, Arts of Daily Living, 1954. This was a showcase of modern rooms and home furnishings designed by nationally known architects, artists, and designers. The exhibition was dedicated to and attendee by Frank Lloyd Wright. Wright chose Svenson’s design to appear on the front cover of House Beautiful Magazine, co-sponsor and publisher of an extensive article on the event.


Betty Davenport Ford
Spring Figure
1975, Coil-built fired stoneware clay,
48" x 18" x 13 ½"
The Buck Collection

Svenson states, “In over 50 years of creating sculpture, in all mediums, I prefer working in wood. The once-living, breathing material challenges me to incorporate the pattern of the grain not the design. Trivial details are eliminated. I seek to create a thing of beauty that lasts far beyond the normal life span of a tree.”

Betty Davenport Ford

In 1940, Albert Stewart, newly appointed as head of the sculpture department at Scripps College, returned home one evening to announce that he had just done a crazy thing. He had admitted a young girl, only fifteen years of age, into his summer college class. Stewart could already see the extraordinary talent an potential in Betty Davenport Ford who, thanks to nurturing parents and encouraging  teachers, had already perfected good sculpting skills a fine talent for observation, an a love of wildlife.

During her second summer with Stewart, Ford carved a bear and cub, which her instructor along with Millard Sheets, encouraged her to enter in the sculpture competition at the L.A. County Fair. She won Second prize, $200. the following fall, Ford entered Scripps College on scholarship. According to Stewart, Ford was the ideal student-she worked very hard and efficiently. Every moment was precious, especially since she waited tables to earn her way through school.
After her graduation form Scripps College, Ford attended the Cranbrook Academy of Art in Bloomfield Hills, Michigan where she earned her Master of Fine Arts Degree. She credits her instructor, Maija Grotell, with excellent instruction in ceramic finishes, and also notes the influence of Cal Milles, who was an artist in residence at Cranbrook. It was Milles’ work that made Ford reaffirm her commitment to representational sculpture.  Whereas others were following the popular “modern” style, she stayed steadfast to her commitment of replicating her subject matter with true-to-life proportion and characteristics. Through decades of art fads, this commitment is as true today as it was then.  
Betty Davenport Ford
Clouded Leopard
1976, Ceramic,
23" x 30" x 8"
Collection of the artist

Following two years at Cranbrook, Betty an her husband, Harold, returned to the Claremont area where they built a home and studio. Betty continued to work on commissions, many of which were adjuncts for projects headed by Millard Sheets. These included two fountain sculptures built in 1952, one for the L.A. County Fair’s new Floral Building, the other, shown first in the Fair’s art exhibition, was for the Jordan Tile Company. In 1954, Ford was invited to create works for the Arts of Daily Living, the famous home furnishings show organized by Millard Sheets for the Fair. The monkey grill she created for that exhibit was eventually installed at the Ahmanson corporate offices in Los Angeles.


Betty Davenport Ford
 Dolphins at Play
1979, Fired clay with multi-colored glazes,
7 ½" x 36" x 8"
The Buck Collection


Betty Davenport Ford
Wild Goat
1956, Bronze
Collection of the artist

In 1956, Sheets organized a sculpture competition for the L.A. County Fair. The deadline for entry was just six weeks away when Ford got wind of the competition a very short time frame for the completion of any sizable project, but with plans and models for a wild goat already under way, she pushed to meet the target date. In fact, she created two, one 5’, the backup 30”. The judge awarded the $2,000 purchase prize to Ford. The projects noted here, as connections to Millard Sheets, are but a small part of Ford’s résumé. She exhibited at the prestigious Dalzell Hatfield Gallery in Los Angeles for 35 years. Her large ceramic Siberian Tiger, paid for by student fund raising, resides at her Alma Mater, Chaffey High school. For the Western Savings Building in Phoenix Arizona, Ford did seventeen panels depicting the history of Arizona, for the Nazarene College of Pasadena, Ford welded a steel and aluminum piece called, Hands of God Releasing Doves of Peace; and , most recently (2001), for Saint Anthony’s Church in upland , California, she completed an eight-foot bronze sculpture of Mary and Jesus. Betty Davenport Ford spent an entire year on a book about ceramic sculpture for Reinhold Publishing Company, Art Horizons, Series, in 1962. All this, while maintaining a teaching schedule of both public and private instruction.


Lucy Bradanovic Agid
Ovation
1999, Marble, 20" x 25"
Collection of the artist


Lucy Bradanovic Agid
Tug of War
1991, Bronze, 16" x 40"
Collection of the artist

Lucy Bradanovic Agid

Lucy Bradanovic Agid says of herself, “I knew from the time I was in the 4th grade I would be an artist.”  The sculptor grew up in San Pedro. Her father was a fisherman from the island of Vis in Yugoslavia. As immigrants, her parents could not conceive of their daughter as an artist. When a high school teacher went to speak to her parents about sending Lucy to art school, her father replied that if she wished to do that, she would have to do so without their support. So, after graduating from San Pedro High School in 1948, Agid earned tuition for the Otis Art Institute by packing sardines and tuna in San Pedro canneries. It was at Otis that she met and studied with Wayne Long, Joe Manyani, and Francis d’Erderly. D’Erderly, so impressed by her prodigal artistic skills, bought one of her early pieces. In recognition of the promise inherent in her work, Agid was awarded the Millard Sheets scholarship in 1951.


It is estimated tat Agid has devoted some 50,000 hours to creating sculptures. First in clay and later in marble, she has over the years, created a prolific body of work. Each year Agid and her husband, Herb, travel to Pietrasanta, Italy, where she spends a month sculpting in a city that is home to several bronze foundries as well as quarries which yield museum-quality stone. Currently making her home in Rolling Hills, California, Agid maintains a workplace in a former aircraft manufacturing building in Torrance, California.

The titles of Agid’s works are broad: Listening, Dreams, Dance of Life, Tug of War. The themes are universal. The works themselves are a blending of multiple human forms into a mass that conveys strong direction, sometimes upward, sometimes circular, and sometimes antithetic. Whether conveying discord or unity, each work speaks strongly of the human condition.

Barbara Beretich

Barbara Beretich was born in Chicago, Illinois, in 1936. She received her BFA from the University of Illinois and her MFA in sculpture from Claremont Graduate School. It was there she met Millard Sheets who became a life-long mentor. After graduate school she did Independent Study in Paris, 1966-67, and from 1984 to 1988, Independent Study in Italy with a concentration on bronze casting.

Artistically, Beretich makes her way in both painting and sculpture with numerous commissions for portrait or architectural studies. At one point, Millard Sheets selected Beretich to design doves for one of his building projects. Barbara has also served as a curator most notably for Edward G. Robinson and of the six Claremont Colleges. From 1973 through 1978 Beretich was director of Gallery 8 in Claremont where she held multiple solo exhibitions for Millard Sheets as well as group exhibitions that included six artists of Carved, Chiseled, Cast: Casanova, Ellis, ford, Stewart, Svenson, and Zajac. After Gallery 8 was close, Beretich continued to act as an art consultant, promoting the careers of may well credited artists as well as those with promising futures.

 


Barbara Beretich
9/11
2002, Bronze,
18" x 13" x 12"
Collection of the artist


Barbara Beretich
Moses/Christo
1992, Bronze,
16" x 8" x 11"
Collection of the artist


Sculpture is for Beretich a means of expressing compassion, grief, or torment over serious issues such as evoked in her Moses/Christ piece which speaks of the Arab-Israeli conflict or 9-11, an acknowledgement of the anguish surrounding the terrorist event that occurred on that date. Obvious to anyone who meets her, Beretich has a lighthearted side as well s. She introduces her favorite cat, Coco, as her curator. Bronze cats or real cats, they are everywhere, and playful mermaid figures, too, that express her sense of humor.

It is hard to describe Barbara Beretich without mentioning her multi-directed, many-hatted life style. A visit to her home and studio in Claremont underscores her works-in-progress approach where every corner exhibits a unique passion, an on-going project, or new focus her interest are eclectic, her affections consuming, her creativity far-reaching, and her generosity impressive.


Aldo Casanova
Stranger in Paradise IV (back view)
1992, Bronze,
29" x 12" x 15"
Collection of the artist

Aldo Casanova

Born in San Francisco in 1929, Aldo Casanova received his B.A. and M. A. degrees from San Francisco State University and his Ph.D. from Ohio State University. At the retirement of Albert Stewart, Casanova became head of the sculpture department at Scripps College through a curious twist of events. The appointment was facilitated by Casanova’s friend, Jack Zajac, literally over the phone, while both were in Rome. Casanova later chaired the art department established by Millard Sheets. He taught at Scripps for thirty-five years and is now Professor Emeritus. He also has instructed at San Francisco State   University, Antioch College in Ohio, Temple University in both Philadelphia and Rome, the State University of New York at Albany, and the Skowhegan School of Painting and Sculpture in Maine.


At age 29, Casanova received a three-year Prix de Rome fellowship in sculpture at the American Academy in Rome. As a member of the selections committee for the Prix de Rome, sculptor in residence, sculptor Paul Manship was instrumental in facilitating Casanova’s award. Casanova lived and worked in Rome for a total of eight years as a Prix de Rome recipient and later as a visiting artist and sculptor in residence. In 1970, he received the Louis Comfort Tiffany Award for Instant, which was donated to the Whitney Museum in New York.

Text Box:      Dora De Larios  Goddess  Porcelain and Stoneware  59” x 13” x 9”  Collection of the artist  Recent national exhibitions that included the work of Aldo Casanova were Stages of Creation: Public Sculptures by National academicians, held at the National Academy Museum in New York in 1998, and Masterworks of American Sculpture, a cooperative venture between the Fleischer Museum, Scottsdale Arizona, and the National Sculpture Society in 2000. The first exhibition, based on public sculpture projects, explored the creative process from the conception to installation while the second documented the history of United States Sculpture from 1875-1999. Three of Casanova’s works were chosen to tour South American museums for two years in a show entitled The New Vein, organized by the Smithsonian Institute.

His sculptures are in many public and private collections, including the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, he Orange County Museum, the Franklin Murphy Sculpture Garden at UCLA , the Smalley Sculpture Garden of the University of Judaism in Los Angeles, The California Institute of Technology, the Rancho Santa Ana Botanic Garden in Claremont, the Air and Space Museum in Washington, D.C., the Stanford Research Institute, the national Academy of Design n New York, and the American Academy in Rome.

Dora De Larios  

Dora De Larios was born in Los Angeles of Mexican parents and raised in a downtown area whose neighbors were Japanese Nisei. At age eight, after visiting the Museum of Anthropology in Mexico City with her family, she knew she would be an artist. At age eighteen De Larios received a scholarship to the University of Southern California.  She credits her studies of world religions and ancient art at USC, plus her travels around the world and her upbringing in ethnically diverse Los Angeles for the unique cross-cultural influences on her artwork. 

 
Dora De Larios
Milagros
1982, Porcelain, stoneware, paint, wood, copper, gold leaf,

 5' x 4' x 6"
Collection of the artist



Beginning in 1966 De Larios has been involved with murals and free standing sculptures for hotels, hospitals, banks and other community buildings. One of her earliest projects was for Millard Sheets who hired De Larios to work on one of his tile mural designs for the corporate head quarters of international Pipe and Ceramic Corporation in New Jersey. Additionally, Dora was one of twelve chosen by Sheets, from 250 applicants, to join INTERPACE in an innovative artist-in-industry program as a designer of ceramic tiles.

To date, her public exhibitions number over 50, one-person shows with numerous group and juried exhibitions, including the Museum of Contemporary Crafts in New York, the Renwick Gallery in Washington, D.C., the Craft and Folk Art Museum in Los Angeles and the Los Angeles County Museum of Art.

Large-scale works created by De Larios have been installed in Nagoya, Japan, in the Makaha Inn Resort, and the Kona Surf hotel, Hawaii. Local commissioned works include Homage to Quetzalcoatl, Pasadena, Koi Goddesses, Los Angeles Bonaventure Hotel, a 40’ porcelain mural in the lobby of the Anaheim Hilton, a stainless steel and Plexiglas wall mural given to the City of Carson by Nissan Motors, and a 10’by 21’ brass gateway at Chinatown’s Bamboo Plaza.

Richard H. Ellis

Born of a “practical” family, Richard H. Ellis, who decided on his life’s work while still at Garden Grove High School, ran against his parent’s wishes in choosing to make his living as an artist. Fortunately, a football scholarship to the University of Nevada helped him avoid going directly from high school to blue collar employment. His path took him to Otis Art institute of Los Angeles where Millard Sheets was the Director. Ellis’ Masters Thesis of which Mother and child is one of the figures was created while at Otis. This work was the major element of his application to the Prix de Rome competition, 1963. Paul Manship and Aldo Casanova, both judges, voted to award Ellis the fellowship, an opportunity that was to be repeated the following year.  Interestingly, Aldo Casanova, and Jack Zajac, both exhibitors in Carved, Chiseled, Cast, became close friends with Ellis while he was abroad.

 


Richard H. Ellis
Mother and Child
1966, Bronze, concrete base
4'7" x 1'8" x 1'5"
Collection of Herbert and Kay Hafif


Richard H. Ellis
Minotaur
2001, Bronze,
 2'6" x 9" x 18"
Collection of the artist

Fortuitously, Sheets, who attended Ellis’ Thesis exhibition, urged the graduate to contact him upon his return from Rome. Thus began a number of commissions fro Home Savings banks: San Marino, Walnut Creek, Lakewood, Santa Barbara, and Santa Monica, which were arranged of the young sculptor by Sheets, There, followed many more public commissions. Such in-the round figures or wall relief’s, demonstrated Ellis’ versatility, his ability to create in any medium-marble, granite, bronze, brass, ceramic, cast stone, concrete, or fiberglass.

In 1971, Ellis created a bust of Howard Ahmanson, Sr., installed at the Ahmanson Theatre in Los Angeles.  This was not only the beginning of a long-running relationship and friendship with the Ahmanson family, but also the beginning of another sculptural direction - portrait sculptures. The list of celebrities is long: for the Beverly Hills Playhouse, Tennessee Williams; for U.C.L.A. Jackie Robinson Memorial Stadium, Jackie Robinson; for the American Red Cross, mark Taper and for the Academy of Television Arts and Science, Mike Wallace, Phil Donahue Andy Griffith, Danny Thomas, Bob Hope, and Milton Berle. Fittingly, after Millard Sheets’ death, Robert Ahmanson, current President of the Ahmanson Foundation, commissioned Ellis to create a portrait bust of Millard for the Millard Sheets Art Center at Scripps College. The plaster model of this portrait is included in the exhibition.
Jack Zajac

Born in Youngstown, Ohio, in 1929, Jack Zajac grew to frequent the Butler Art institute, but had never seen an artist at work until his family moved to Southern California. Zajac’s Chaffey High School art teacher, Janet Benton, took her class to see Alfredo Ramos Martinez at work on his frescos at Scripps College in Claremont, an experience that greatly impacted the future of this young artist.  An outstanding art student, Benton recognized Zajac says, “Millard saw art not as something made in an exclusive, divine trance, but as a simple sacrament as natural and nourishing as breath itself ad I was deep in his nature to want to share it with others.

 


Jack Zajac
Standing Lamb
1955, Bronze,
14 ½" x 24" x 7"
The Buck Collection


Jack Zajac
Easter Goat # 1, 1957
Bronze
34” x 18” x 16”
The Daseler Family Collection

Jack Zajac went on to win the prix de Rome, in painting, an award from the American Academy of arts and Letters and a Guggenheim Fellowship that allowed him to study in South East Asia. His work has been shown in more than 70 solo shows: Rome, Orvieto, London, Honolulu, New York, Chicago, Boston, and California. His sculpture is in the collections of Banco Di Roma, Rome; the Israel Museum, Jerusalem; the Museum of Modern Art, New York; the Hirshhorn Museum, Washington D.C an the Los  Angeles County Museum of art. Zajac currently makes his home in Santa Cruz where he taught sculpture at the University of California.

It was while in Rome in 1954 on his fellowship that Zajac, the painter, became Zajac, the sculptor. “The urge to make a sculpture was abetted thanks to a pile of clay left in my studio by the former occupier, Carl Milles. The Standing Lamb and its Companion Kneeling Lamb were made within a couple of days of one another and set aside as I continued painting.” On returning to Rome the following year, Zajac began a series of paintings of flayed goat carcasses based on his sightings of slaughtered animals in the market place just prior to the feasting associated with Easter. Simultaneously, Zajac began a series of goat sculptures, called Sacrificial Goats, also inspired by the bound animals he saw in the vendor booths. Returned to again and again, the goats became a recurring theme. Zajac’s artistic view is not confined to representational works in the strictest sense. He is probably better known for his Falling water series, which though it replicates natural forms.

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