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About The Artists

Jimmy Wadsworth is a master builder. His knowledge of materials and techniques is born from decades of  practical experience and daily innovation. He is self taught, using industrial and agricultural paradigms to inform his ideas. Most of his works are commissioned but each must withstand his toughest critics -- his young grandchildren and their friends. If they squeal and jump in delight his purpose is accomplished.

Mr. Wadsworth's friends know him as a musician, father, grandfather, devout Catholic, ranch manager and construction contractor. His formal education ended in 12th grade followed by his service in US Army. In 1969 he married his high school sweetheart and went to work. His primary medium is steel in all its forms, often combining rough wood elements or glass that mimic natural shapes. Many of his works are reminiscent of animal forms and some are magical monsters or smiling rhinos. The range of his work include improbable forms and often incorporate special lighting that reshapes the work at dusk into brilliant flames or eerily glowing lights from the swamp.

Mr. Wadsworth can often be found in his studio, welding, sawing or experimenting with different finishes. He has taught welding at Cook County Community College.

Jim Graves is Mr. Wadsworth's collaborator, critic and sponsor. He lends creative direction to most pieces and often designs works that take advantage of both the site and Mr. Wadsworth's considerable ability to execute. Most often each piece evolves from the symbiosis of two old friends.


Artist's Statement

Every day our responsibilities and commitments become like bricks in a very tall and long wall. Each brick was put there for a reason but after awhile they risk becoming rote or just stacked in no particular way. The act of lifting every brick and spreading the mortar gradually, even imperceptibly, takes over the wall's purpose. As a result, many of our walls meander, going nowhere and connecting to nothing.

My art is an attempt to bring whimsy, joy and delight back into peoples' lives so when they lift the next brick they'll be reminded that their wall will stretch for generations and every block or stone has its own meaning -- to be appreciated and respected.

My scale is intentionally large and requires locations that permit many different views. To succeed, large sculpture must overcome many engineering and materials problems. In the end, my works must find peace in their surroundings while calling comfortable attention to their own unique shape and image. Some forms escape easy comprehension -- not to frustrate but to invite new understanding and discovery. While some artists like to shock with overpowering statements, I would rather make you content, pleased and aware. You need to laugh while you build your wall. I do.

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