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There’s a great quote, by a poet named Snodgrass,
“If you’re doing anything you know how to do, you’re not doing anything”.
So the excitement, for me, has been forever doing things on the edge, doing things that are risky,
and the minute people start liking it, stop doing it and move on to something else. And that’s what I’ve done.
The idea of a Centennial Sculpture park, emerged about three years ago.
We’ve worked with Wendell in many ways over the years.
You see his work as one of the masters of contemporary craft art and design,
contemporary sculpture, indoors for the most part, a master of wood, and these wonderful organic sculptural forms.
This offered him the opportunity of working outside again. He doesn’t have that many, outdoor pieces.
This will be one of the major ones.
I like the idea a lot of doing stuff outdoors.
See what will happen when it rains. Yeah, it’s fine. You get no water standing in there.
What I’m sort of known for is more furniture than sculpture, and I think I can make a bold statement that would be sculptural,
and so I thought about the idea of an outdoor living room.
And so I named it the “Unicorn Family”, because I wanted it to be a family,
and I wanted there to be something in the vocabulary that made them all tie together as if they were related,
in a very recognizable kind of way.
We knew that if we developed this park, we would want not only artists of national recognition,
from outside the city, but also artists of national, international recognition from our area.
I have a very long tie with the Memorial Art Gallery where I had my first important one man show,
in 1965, and it really launched my career.
We’re lucky here at the Gallery to have a number of his works, in our permanent collection.
And I think it’s fair to say we have as many as most museums in the world, and that’s how it should be.
We have wonderful examples from the 1960s up until, as you’ll see, 2013, to underscore the centennial.
This piece I’m beginning over here, this is the exact same process that was used on the Unicorn.
This is urethane foam, glued up with urethane glue, one layer at a time.
This is how I predict the lamination. I have the chair seat shape, here.
This will be, in the end, thrown away.
Because we’ll make a mold, and that's, the mold is what we need.
I’ve been wanting to do more with cast iron. If you rust cast iron, using chemicals,
rather than just waiting for the rain, which will have impurities in it, to oxidize the surface
you can add chemicals and then you can control the color.
For the last 20 years, I really haven’t exhibited work in Rochester at all,
it’s all been New York City and other places.
To have something here in Rochester that can be seen by everybody,
that’s right out in the yard, that’s totally accessible, 24 hours a day, that’s pretty cool.
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