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Press Release: 8/17/02

Colorado sculptor J. Christopher White astounded crowds at Loveland's 2002 "Sculpture in the Park" Exhibition by unveiling an innovative sculptural concept he recently developed by co-mingling the ancient mediums of wood and bronze. While wood and bronze have frequently been presented side-by-side in sculpture, White has done a stunning job of blending the two into a new medium which he has christened a "bronze-wood meld".
"Determined", his eye catching rendition of a peregrine falcon in a dive, caused the show audience to do a double take - is it wood or bronze? The transition point between wood and bronze was nearly imperceptible due to the artist's ability to take the wood deep into the bronze sculpture, and the skill of the patiniere to reproduce the weathered grays of rough wood.  White's tasteful use of high Polish and contrasting rugged grays (in his wood sculptures), builds a platform to launch the illusion of bronze turning into wood. The result is a sculpture with the durability and repeatability of bronze, and the warmth and one-of-a-kind uniqueness of wood. "You really got the best of both mediums and the added intrigue of having your eye fooled", White commented. The Loveland crowd was clearly awed by this new  sculptural medium. White  said, "It really was fun to watch people scrutinize the work, narrow their eyes and begin to examine the piece more closely. After running my finger along the precise boundaries of the bronze and wood; and often repeating, "No, this part is bronze, and "Yes, this segment is wood", people would smile a wondering smile and ask "How did you do that?". It was an exciting way for me to interact with the crowd because more often than not at the end of the conversation the newly educated would grab a friend and challenge them to point out where the bronze ended or began. Over the two decades that White has been sculpting professionally,the artist has built a national reputation for unique wood images fashioned from West Texas juniper and highly polished to achieve the glowing golden hue inherent in a Tiger Eye stone. White explained, "Although I thoroughly enjoy working in wood, the medium has limited my ability to produce sufficient sculptures to satisfy the growing demand for my work. 'The advantage of this new medium is that it allows me to produce multiple images while retaining the one-of-a-kind value collectors are seeking."
The sculptor emphasizes that in addition to melding the juniper and bronze together the mesquite base in itself is also an art form, its lines working with and flowing into the lines of the falcon. Also, the rich, gray wood tones of the mesquite are incorporated into the patina of the bronze creating an overall blend which makes it nearly impossible to discern wood from metal.
White is already creating additional images and is excited about the challenges posed by each new idea. You can find White's falcon image, "Determined", and dozens of the artist's other exquisitely executed wood sculptures, on his web site: www.parablesinwood.com

Press Release written by Myrna I Zantell, 8/17/02

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