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.
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.