Other Information: Uccelli (Birds of St. Francis) is a rare casting by the late American sculptor Charles Umlauf. A nationally acclaimed sculptor, Umlauf did many of his castings in Italy (hence the Italian titles), and this piece was part of a full-scale figure casting of St. Francis. Umlauf made only a few castings of the birds by themselves.
Umlauf's work is in the Smithsonian Museum in Washington, D.C., the Museum of Fine Arts in Houston, and the Metropolitan Museum in New York. Umlauf taught at the University of Texas for over 30 years. The Umlauf Sculpture Garden and Museum in Austin now holds much of Umlauf's remaining works and archives.
This piece was donated by Cam Leonard, a founding father of the Art Center's Sculpture Garden and past-president of the Art Association. Cam and Virginia Leonard's past contributions have made a substantial impact on the Art Center we know today, and Cam's current contribution of Umlauf's Uccelli is dedicated to the memory of Virginia Leonard.
The base for Uccelli was designed by internationally acclaimed sculptor Jesus Moroles, a longtime friend of the Leonards, whose Lighthouse Fountain was dedicated into the Sculpture Garden in 2002.
The dedication for Charles Umlauf's Uccelli took place on November 1, 2008, with Cam Leonard, Jesus Moroles, and Harold Phenix in attendance.
Danville Chadbourne ~ The Inevitable Question, The Lure of Simple Inclinations, and The False Shadow of Transformation, 2016
Danville Chadbourne The Inevitable Question, The Lure of Simple Inclinations, and The False Shadow of Transformation, 2016
Dimensions: 8 feet x 17 feet x 11 feet
Known for his craftsmanship and use of primal materials such as wood and clay, Chadbourne's work is often likened to a body of cultural artifacts. The visual and ritual impact of these beautiful objects is made more complex by their provocative,poetic and often paradoxical titles. They are, in essence, monuments to irrational ideas and human impulses.
Born in Bryan, Texas in 1949, Chadbourne received a BFA in 1971 from Sam Houston State University in Huntsville, Texas and an MFA in 1973 from Texas Tech University in Lubbock. After many years teaching studio art and art history at the college level, Chadbourne quit in 1989 to devote himself full-time to his work.He has exhibited extensively, including more than 100 one-person exhibitions. He resides in San Antonio with his wife Diana Roberts also an important figure in the art world.
The process to procure the sculptures started in 2015 in consultation with the artist and the family of James A. Smallenberger, whose contribution made this acquisition possible. The three large-scale, high-fired ceramic works complement the building and the seaside setting of the Art Center’s growing collection of outdoor works by important Texas sculptors such as James Surls, Kent Ullberg,and Rockport’s own Jesús Moroles.
The three Chadbourne’s signature ceramic works form an almost ritual grouping outside, emphasizing the artist’s interest in natural materials, bold use of color, and evocative forms.
Chadbourne often describes his large sculptural forms as “monuments to abstract, even irrational, impulses.”Entitled The Inevitable Question, The Lure of Simple Inclinations, and The False Shadow of Transformation, the sculptures are representative of the artist’s artistic vision. The largest work is over 8 feet tall, the other two pieces measure over 6 feet.
James Surls's work can be seen throughout Texas and is part of the permanent collections of the Smithsonian American Art Museum (Washington, DC), Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York, NY), Whitney Museum of American Art (New York, NY) among many others.
Surls' has strong Texas roots--himself an East Texas nativewho graduated from Sam Houston State Teachers College in 1966 and then becoming a professor at Southern Methodist University in Dallas ('69-76). Surls is very fond of Rockport--having made many trips in the past, to fish, and to visit his good friend and colleague Jesús Moroles. Surls now lives and works in Roaring Fork Valley, Colorado.
After months of preparation and planning, the powdered coated steel piece finally made its way to Rockport. While the piece, called Walking White Flower, bears a striking resemblance to his other molecular-related work seen at the Contemporary Arts Museum Houston and the Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy Greenway in Boston, Walking White Flower is currently the only white piece Surls has made. Its chosen placement--on the lawn of the Rockport Center of the Arts--allows the unique, abstract qualities of the piece to be truly appreciated by visitors to the Art Center.
In November, Surls visited the Art Center to usher in the project. Click below to watch a short video made during the artist's visit.
The project was made possible by The Brown Foundation, Inc. of Houston, The Madison Charitable Foundation, and the studio of Jesús Moroles.
Other Information: Jane DeDecker's bronze sculpture Into the Wind arrived April 2, 2011 and was placed on a newly landscaped portion of RCA's Sculpture Garden. The piece was made possible by The Margaret Sue Rust Foundation in Memory of Monroe Rust. Facing the prevailing southeast wind, a lone figure is perched on the bow of a boat - evoking a sense of wonder, sensitivity and pride. The figure brings to mind embarking on a personal journey -- which is innately human and especially true for the many artists that visit the Art Center.
DeDecker is a widely acclaimed artist with a long list of awards and permanent installations all over the nation. Her influences include Kent Ullberg, whose "Rites of Spring" was the first major sculpture dedicated in RCA's garden in 2000. Ullberg's continued interest in shaping the garden contributed greatly to this project being realized.
The Art Center wishes to thank The Margaret Sue Rust Foundation for their continued vision and support of a lasting, meaningful landscape, the Sculpture Garden Committee, and to the many members and volunteers who dedicate their time to this effort.
For more information on Jane DeDecker, visit www.janededecker.com Press Release from the Dedication of Into the Wind below.
Other Information: Interlocking is an early granite sculpture from National Medal of Arts Award Recipient and Rockport resident Jesus Moroles. The piece was donated to Rockport Center for the Arts in 1991 by Mr. and Mrs. Paul Karcher of Midland. Moroles recently relocated the piece from the front lawn to the Sculpture Garden with a new granite base.
Jesus Bautista Moroles ~ Lighthouse Fountain, 2002
In Lighthouse Fountain Moroles has immortalized the spirit of comforting strength, powerful gentleness, and graceful beauty which make the Live Oak Peninsula distinctive. The representative work of Moroles' signature Fredricksburg granite stands twenty one fee high and symbolizes a lighthouse as water quietly slips down its grooved and curved sides.
The commission of the Moroles piece is made possible by a major donation from Frances Brockett of Louisiana and a grant from The Brown Foundation of Houston. Additional members of the Rockport community made valuable contributions to make this artwork become a reality.
Other Information: Dedicated in 1998, Spirit Columns was the first piece of public art to be installed in Rockport. National Medal of Arts recipient and Rockport resident Jesus Moroles donated the labor, and funds were put up by Bill and Jane Mann along with other community members to make this project happen.
Spirit Columns sits on the southern shore of Little Bay within walking distance of the Art Center.
Other Information: In 2016, the families of David Herring and Jane Guinn, in consultation with the artist, began the process of selecting the second of two Ullberg pieces for public display in Rockport. Preening Heron is an abstracted bird form based upon the center tile of a 1992 bas relief triptic entitled Evolution. In that work, Ullberg charted the life cycle of his own creative voice moving from the abstract modernism of his art training through the natural realism of his mature works. Ullberg stated, “I’m delighted and honored to have a second sculpture at the beautiful Rockport Center for the Arts Sculpture Garden. Like most of my work, it’s inspired by nature and appropriately in this case, by the rich wildlife of the Texas coast.” Cast in stainless steel, Preening Heron keeps a watchful eye on Rockport Harbor and stands as an agreeable link between our Sculpture Garden's realistic and abstract works.
Other Information: The first sculpture since 2002 to be added to Rockport Center for the Arts' Sculpture Garden is "Return of Ancient Wisdom" - a bronze cast from burl wood by nationally acclaimed sculptor Leo E. Osborne. Osborne's piece will be a welcome addition, as the Kemp's ridley sea turtle is of global and local significance. "Return of Ancient Wisdom" evokes the potential of art to raise awareness of our natural environment, and will be a permanent reminder of the ecological role of the Coastal Bend region.
The Art Center's newest sculpture is made possible by the generosity of the Thomas W. Moore family and the Margaret Sue Rust Foundation.
Other Information: Donated by the artist in 2009, Mark P. Williamson and family grew up around Rockport. Williamson’s works have been accepted into more than 20 national juried art competitions since 2002, receiving awards in Denver, Sacramento, and San Angelo.
Williamson perfected his marble sculpting techniques while in residence in Pietrasanta, Italy in 1991, later studying under the Spanish abstract sculptor Xavier Corbero (2001) and Jesus Moroles (2005). While focused primarily on marble and granite, Williamson’s work often displays healthy experimentation in the use of other non-traditional media.
Williamson’s sculptures now sit in the collections of prominent art patrons, Highland Park Township (Dallas), at the University of Texas at Austin, and as part of the Rockport Center for the Arts' Permanent Collection.
This figurative bronze was donated by the artist in memory of his father, Atmar Atkinson, who passed away in 1999. The full-size sculpture sits at the Northwest corner of the Art Center grounds, facing Rockport Harbor and the Texas Maritime Museum. It depicts a young man sitting on a bench with two terriers that are similar to the dogs his father loved so much.
Michael Atkinson is well known for his watercolors and figurative sculpture, and is represented by Galerie Zuger in Santa Fe, NM.
Other Information: On November 14, 2009, Sandy Scott's "Off Port Bow," a bronze sculpture of three dolphins, was dedicated in Rockport Center for the Arts' Sculpture Garden. In honor of the late Lola L. Bonner, the sculpture was made possible by the Margaret Sue Rust Foundation.