Pokey Park

Tucson, AZ

Pokey Park

Featured Sculpture

Pokey Park - Desert Big Horn (bronze)

Long time attendees of Castlegar Sculpturewalk need no introduction to the fantastic sculptures of Pokey Park.

The prolific and hugely talented bronze artist has shown here five times previously. She has displayed one of her readily identifiable works every year from 2010 to 2015 with the exception of 2012.

You might remember her slowpoke turtle (2010), her button-coated raven (2011), her endearing monkey with skateboard (2013), her totem (2014) or her casting of her granddaughter and dog from 2015.

Always a favourite of viewers, her absence over the past few years is attributable to a mammoth undertaking she has been working on - 32 animal sculptures with a focus on endangered species within California's six land-based ecosystems, literally from shoreline to mountain range.

The collection will brighten a major expansion at the Lucille Packard Children’s Hospital of Stanford University’s Medical Centre in Palo Alto. Her warm, pleasing piece on display here - Desert Big Horn - is from that collection.

"That commission was my life for the past three years!", she exclaims. "It was daunting and a ton of work, but the pleasure and joy the sculptures bring to children who are generally very seriously ill is my reward. To be able to brighten their day and entice a smile is humbling, and moving. It makes my heart sing."

The always positive Park considers herself very fortunate to do what she does - and does very skilfully and adroitly -so her optimism and appreciation invariably finds their way into her lovely pieces. Every one of her sculptures radiates with charm and personality, imbued with the matching qualities found in their creator.

"I've been lucky to have had the opportunity to travel the world and to make a living sculpting the animals and cultural/mythical ethnography I've observed. My style reflects my belief that life needs to be celebrated with whimsy and attitude. I look for the underlying joy in the world to express in my sculpture."

Her entry this year personifies her indelible style. A resting sheep, intent and sharp-eyed, dangles a hind leg, its forelegs tucked underneath itself. The impressive rack of the curled horns, the pert ears as well as the unspoken majesty it carries itself with - all are enticingly portrayed with her uniquely whimsical style. Defining, flowing lines, indentations and shadings make the sculpture immediately, distinctly recognizable as one of hers.

The Tuscon, Arizona-based Park has been studying and drawing animals of every stripe since she was a girl growing up on the coast of Georgia. Finding her preferred medium in bronze, her iconic animal studies now reside in private collections, galleries and public spaces across the United States and around the world.

Desert Big Horn is bolstering the spirits of sick children in California as Park hoped it would - its imaginative styling and realistic whimsy will gladden hearts during its stay here too.


Artist's Sculptures