Tampa Bay

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St. Petersburg Sculpture Experience

St. Petersburg Sculpture Experience

Tampa Bay
Saturday, July 21, 2018 - 10:00am
St Petersburg
Florida

By Pat Watson
On July 21st, 36 club members joined us for a tour of the St. Petersburg Sculpture Experience at their new location on Central Avenue. Parking was a challenge on a busy Saturday in downtown St. Petersburg, especially since the event chair couple left off the parking details in the newsletter
(oops, sorry!!). Everyone found a spot and we were on time for the tour to begin at 1:00 PM. We were fortunate to have the artist Jon Hair give the tour. Jon is a self-taught artist that began sculpting at age 50, a time when most of us began planning retirement. Jon’s family first moved to St. Petersburg from Iowa when he was 9. His grandmother ran the Hair Guest House on 340 4th Street South in
downtown St. Pete. His family lived in St. Pete until he was in his teens. Jon began his multiple careers in New York as a musician, playing with many music greats like Jimi Hendrix. He later became an art director for his own marketing company, and eventually got hooked on sculpting. He says it is what he was born to do. His recent move from South Carolina is a homecoming to the downtown St. Petersburg area.  Many of the sculptures in the studio are clay figures used in making the molds for the bronze casting. Standing next to one of his largest sculptures -- the 26 ft long lion -- gives you a mind blowing perspective of how big some of his sculptures really are. One of the claws is almost the size of a person’s head. The bronze version ended up being 12,000 pounds. The sculptures are incredibly realistic, with amazing detail. Jon took us through the process of lost-wax sculpting, giving us a new appreciation for how a bronze statue is made. Throughout the tour Jon entertained the group with his stories of how the sculptures evolved, problems encountered, and how they were resolved. If you missed the event, make sure you view the photos on the Mercedes Club Facebook site to see some of the sculptures. Lunch was at the Oyster Bar just down the street from the museum. The menu included a wide assortment of choices, andbeverages to quench our thirst after the long 4-block walk. For those of you that missed the event, we hope to see you at the next one. If you see an activity that you think the club would enjoy, please let us know. If you would like to chair an event, drop us a note or join us at the next meeting.