I sculpted this bronze portrait of my father in 2003, the same year he died. Luckily, he was able to be wheelchaired into my studio to see it in its clay form before he died; he was overwhelmed. I had the bronze casting of his portrait at his funeral, so that when everyone walked in the church, they were able to see the sculpture of him. Seeing his portrait in bronze, something that you could walk around and touch, before walking into the church for his funeral service, gave some joy to a very sad occasion, so I was glad that I decided to do his portrait in bronze.
What inspired me to do my father’s portrait was that he had been in and out of the hospital for various reasons over the years and I feared that we might lose him, so I wanted to immortalize his image in bronze for me and my brother. Sculpting my father was a wonderful experience, he was able to pose for me and having the opportunity sit in front of his clay sculpture for hours, familiarized me with the face I had seen since I was a child, more than I would have ever imagined.
Every day I would walk into my studio and look into the face of a man that I loved dearly, that had given up everything to raise me by himself as a single father. He devoted his entire life to raising me after gaining full custody of me when I was in 1st grade. He never remarried, although there were some beautiful ladies that came calling. Instead, he worked 6 days a week and spent every spare moment raising me and taking me to every sport I wanted to play, told me daily that I could achieve anything I put my mind to and never missed a chance to tell me that he loved me.
These are the reasons I titled the sculpture of my father “Legacy,” in my mind he was a man amongst men and took on a responsibility that most men would not dream of. Now that he is immortalized in bronze, his legacy lives on, I see his sculpture every day, sometimes I walk by and touch it, other times I’ve sat and talked to him and sometimes I just say hi dad.