Jack Morford

Jack Morford

Featured Sculpture

Jack Morford - Lost in a Dream (bronze)

The inclusion of the fittingly titled Lost in a Dream by life-long sculptor Jack Morford marks the first time a sculptor's work has been shown posthumously at Castlegar Sculpturewalk.

The Michigan-born artist passed away just over three years ago, in February 2015 in American Fork, Utah. His legacy is kept alive through the efforts of his children, and through videos and montages of his work on his website.

Transfixed by art since he was in grade school, Morford studied first at the Art Institute of Chicago. It was here that, as he states in an explanatory commentary on being an artist, "I realized that my love of art could bear fruit. That it was possible to make a living doing what I always wanted to do."

He began sculpting as a livelihood before returning to further his studies at Ricks College (now Brigham Young University-Idaho) in Rexburg, Idaho and eventually completing a Masters of Fine Arts degree at the Otis College of Art and Design in Los Angeles.

Always humble and modest, he explained his creative processes and the pieces that emerged as being "simply sparked by a nuance. How a person is standing or by a gesture that someone makes. From that one instance, I am able to build a more elaborate image. As I form the piece, I add to it ideas that grow out of a process of freethinking, dredging up bits from my subconscious. Always though, it begins with the intrigue of the form."

Morford's Book Peddlers, perhaps his most well known work, won a Best of Show Award at the 2016 Sculpturewalk in Sioux Falls, South Dakota. That same piece was commissioned by the City of St. George, Utah, along with Savannah Sunset, and was one of a trio of his sculptures that grace the Brigham Young University campus in Provo, Utah.

Book Peddlers intimates the "primarily figurative and whimsical nature [of his sculpture]with some playing on a subtle scene of sarcasm" aspect of his work exceedingly well. As Morford explained, "People enjoy the out-of-the-box view I lend them [his sculptures]. That's why I enjoy creating whimsically abstract pieces, to give a touch of the real world, while at the same time taking them out of it and into their imagination and dreams."

His work on display here has no trace of whimsy or hint of his oft-implied subtle sarcasm, however. Rather, Lost in a Dream is his homage to love and to companionship. It was sculpted after a lengthy period of inactivity following the passing of his wife in 2003.

"It was cathartic. Eventually I was able to move forward, knowing ultimately we would be reunited."

The piece is striking, moving and wonderfully realized in his unique style. A female figure sits on a fauna encrusted plinth looking downward. Curved wings drape over her back, one long leg stretches bent through a stylized cloud, the other tucked comfortably under her. Sitting on a tasseled pillow, she peers intently earthward, full of reassurance and concern both.

A very special sculpture nicely summarizes a life fully and fruitfully lived. The passing of its creator means he has attained the realization of rejoining his wife - eloquently expressed, superbly rendered in Lost in a Dream.


Artist's Sculptures