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story.lead_photo.caption Courtesy Photo "I find inspiration form all types of sources: a news article, life experiences, a story someone has told me, or just traveling," says sculptor Michael Warrick. "To record my thoughts and ideas, I carry a small sketchbook with me most every where I go."

The University of Arkansas at Little Rock, where Michael Warrick is a professor of sculpture, documented the creation of a multi-piece, multi-dimensional statue titled "Youth" in a video you can see at

It's a lot like watching a love story.


Michael Warrick:

‘Perspectives on Darkness and Lightness’

WHEN — Aug. 17-Sept. 30; reception 5-7 p.m. Aug. 17

WHERE — UAFS Windgate Art & Design Gallery, 535 N. Waldron Road in Fort Smith

COST — Free

INFO — Email

In the video, Warrick courts the ideal of a female figure designed to carry the heart of Little Rock to its sister city, Hanam, South Korea. Then, like so many people nowadays, he turns to technology to make his dreams come true. "Youth," as he titled the sculpture, was 3-D printed to create the molds into which the bronze would be poured. It's the same "lost wax" process that dates back thousands of years -- with the new twist of computer modeling. "Created from vines as if it was growing into an adult," "Youth," says Warrick, was inspired by the Women's Gymnastic Team from the Summer Olympics a few years ago. It took three months to consummate his courtship of perfection -- and the help of other artisans to clean up the molds and pour molten bronze into the cavities of five separate pieces of the statue.

"It was," he says simply, "a labor of love."

Now, Warrick has moved on to "Vision," a new addition to the permanent collection at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith's Windgate Art & Design building. Four feet tall and also created through a 3-D printed mold, "Vision" represents a man in meditation, he explains.

"The front view of the sculpture is in the form of a modeled face, and the back side is an exact negative of the front layered in gold leaf," he says. "There are many metaphors at work in this piece. Gold is one of the most precious metals on Earth, and its inclusion symbolizes that the mind is one of the most precious gifts a person has. There are also allusions to the negative and positive. The sculpture shows how people may be calm on the outside while a storm is brewing on the inside."

A concurrent exhibition of Warrick's work will also include "approximately 35 figurative and portrait based sculptures in clay and bronze that are from 7 inches to 7 feet high," he says. "In this group of sculpture there are multiple bodies of work that are expressive in the way they explore themes of transformation, identity, death and memory."

Also, "there will be 21 drawings that explore figurative based ideas from the last 15 years. All of them explore the the human condition and are drawn with pencil on paper."

Along with that statement, Warrick confirms the assumption that he has not always been a three-dimensional artist.

"I grew up in Northern Illinois about 70 miles southwest of Chicago in a small town," he says. "I began to create by telling make-believe stories to my older brother when I was 5 years old. My earliest work that I remember doing was when I was 6 or so. It was an accurate drawing of my godmother's '50s-era yellow Chevy."

In college at Illinois State University, Warrick started out painting and drawing and then moved on to clay. It wasn't until graduate school at Southern Illinois University that he expanded his materials to include wood and metal, casting his first bronze in 1980.

"Art matters because it can serve us in many ways in our lives," he muses in answer to a question. "It can be an important means for expression and help viewers see and understand aspects of the human condition. Art can reveal the challenges we face as well as see the wonder of life.

"Creative expression in its various forms offer us insight into the soul of a person, a people or a nation," he adds. "It helps us to experience new ways of thinking, seeing and being through asking us to consider what it means to be alive at this time in history."

Courtesy Photo "Youth," inspired by the Women's Gymnastic Team from the Summer Olympics a few years ago, was "created from vines as if it was growing into an adult," says its creator, sculptor Michael Warrick.

NAN What's Up on 08/11/2019

Print Headline: A Vision Of Youth

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