Sunday, July 6, 2008

Interesting that Guy would say this today-- “exposure to rich experiences in different domains in our home and community is what makes us diverse and different contributing to the rich tapestry of society”
Today I got re-acquainted with one of those community members that contributes to the rich tapestry…
In 2005 I met Tom Palmerton, at the Lewis & Clark Visitor Center in Nebraska City. He is the sculptor of “Pointing the Way” a Lewis, Clark & Seaman bronze. It was a casual meeting as neither of us was interested in getting in the middle of the crowd at the Opening Program and were standing around outside the building with a few others. Once I realized who he was and what he had created, I began asking questions. He graciously explained his process to me and I knew that some day I would like to visit his studio in Brownville. Today was the day.
He is a 77-year-old artist (father and grandfather) that received his formal training from the Kansas City Art Institute using the GI bill. Originally from Council Bluffs, IA, he returned to that area and spent some time in Omaha. In the early 1970s he came to Brownville. His studio and gallery are in one of the historic Brownville buildings. He spends his days there creating and is usually closed on Sunday. But we called ahead, and he was happy to come and open it up for us (I was with my parents). He’s made many historical figures and many animals and birds. He also is quite a painter and has many framed paintings on the walls. He showed us both working areas—the room for the bronzes and the loft for the painting. He once again, graciously explained the entire process to me. (I think I have to try it to really understand it!)
Today he was working on the wings of a butterfly that will be part of a large bronze butterfly sculpture. The completed sculpture will be part of the Butterfly & Insect Pavilion at the Henry Doorly Zoo. Of course, I took an immediate interest in the subject matter because of our Arts LINC & Science Unit, “Living Things Grow and Change”. Sometime when I’m in Omaha, I’ll go the zoo. He already has several sculptures there. I’ll have to see art at the zoo!
A connection between art and science. A connection with a living and working artist. I feel like I’ve met a rock star.
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