Local artist speaks on sculpting at Dixie Forum

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Dixie Forum speakers are distributors of knowledge and creativity, and last week, an award-winning, 87-year-old sculptor shared her story of the process behind her bronze works of art.

St. George artist L’Deane Trueblood spoke at Dixie State Universi ty on Feb. 24 about how a bronze sculpture is made and how much work actually goes into making one. Trueblood was chosen after art faculty suggested her in a list of potential presenters. 

John Burns, Dixie Forum committee chair, is in charge of putting the forums together. Burns finds people to present by looking at different media outlets such as Ted Talks, university web pages and newspapers. He also gets feedback from faculty on who they think would be good. Burns said he doesn’t get much input on ideas for forums, but he is willing to hear from students because in the end the forums are for students.

Burns has been putting the forums together since fall semester 2013. He knows that there were at least three other coordinators before him, but he isn’t sure how long the forums have been running for.

“The forums are for the students and so it is important to find topics that would interest them,” Burns said. 

The only subject that isn’t covered by the forums is business because the business department does its own forums. Burns aims to hold a forum for every other department at DSU, but the art department usually has the most related speakers because there are so many different topics that can be covered.

Trueblood, a Purchase Prize award winner in 1988, is known by many DSU art professors, and that is how she was chosen. She has two sculptures on campus: one in the Val A. Browning Learning Resource Center and another in the Dolores Eccles Fine Arts Center. 

Trueblood has 26 bronze sculptures in St. George, but one of her more famous pieces is her statue of Vicki Van Meter, which is on display at the St. George Municipal Airport. Out of the many sculptures that Trueblood has created, her favorite piece is in Tonaquint Cemetery. It is of two soldiers called “The Price of Freedom.”

“The piece shows the love our military personnel had for each other,” Trueblood said.

Trueblood is very passionate about the process of how a bronze sculpture is made, and she said that most people don’t know what goes into it. From a silicon mold on a clay statue to pouring bronze into hardened shells made from the mold, the depth of artistry dives further than the piece itself. 

“When the pieces need to be welded back together, it is very difficult,” Trueblood said. “They have to get each piece welded smoothly together, so you can’t see that there is a difference in pieces.”

A chemical process called patina, where the bronze is sprayed with chemicals and heated repeatedly, is used to get the desired bronze color. 

“The beautiful thing about bronze sculptures is that they are eternal,” Trueblood said. “They will last you forever.”

Dixie Forums are Tuesdays at noon, with exceptions of summer semester and holidays. For a full forum schedule, visit the Dixie Forum website at http://dixie.edu/humanities/dixie_forum.php.