We are very pleased to share that National Sculptors' Guild Fellow Michael Warrick has been recognized by the Arkansas Arts Council as the 2020 Arkansas Living Treasure for his work and dedication to the craft of metalworking.
“Creating and teaching are very important to me,” Warrick said. “I have made it a personal goal to help others learn and create through the craft of metalworking. In my own creative metalwork, it is my hope that I can bring elements of our humanity and history through the craft.”
Warrick, who teaches at the University of Arkansas at Little Rock, has been shown locally and internationally. His work was shown in a solo touring exhibition in 1996 that appeared in the Strause Gallery of the Arkansas Arts Center. A recent sample of Warrick’s work sits in front of the main entrance to the new Windgate Art + Design building at the University of Arkansas at Fort Smith.
Warrick’s work has appeared in exhibitions and public installations locally and worldwide. He regularly does commission work, including a piece he created in 2017 for the Little Rock Sister City Commission to give to the City of Hanam in South Korea. A video about that project is available via UALRTV.
Warrick is currently completing an 18-foot stainless-steel with gold leaf sculpture "Mockingbird/Orange Tree" commissioned through the National Sculptors' Guild for The Groves in Whittier, California.
Warrick has studied his craft for more than 30 years. He started learning metalworking in 1967, when he took an industrial arts class in high school that included welding. He became a certified welder in 1972 and worked on large-scale mining equipment trucks, industrial fixtures and railroad cars.
He attended Illinois State University as an art student in 1976. There, he learned metal casting and sculpting, and as a graduate student, he learned to work with cast iron. By 1995, he had picked up the technique of ceramic shell casting, which allowed him to cast finer and thinner bronze works.
Warrick is constantly learning, experimenting and evolving. In 2015, he learned 3D printing with polylactic acid plastic (PLA) and used the new technology in tandem with traditional lost wax casting for his metalwork. The resulting large-scale, 21-by-15-by-15-foot sculpture sits today outside the Statehouse Convention Center in Little Rock. The sculpture is a fascinating mix of stainless steel, bronze, glass and concrete that celebrates the Louisiana Purchase.
“I am a firm believer that there is much value to learning traditional methods for creating in cast metal,” Warrick said. “I am also curious about contemporary techniques in the production of objects and how they might be enhanced by joining old and new techniques.”
Warrick is committed to maintaining and advancing his craft through mentoring, teaching, lecturing, demonstrating and building through teamwork. Since joining UALR in the fall of 1990, Warrick has been instrumental in securing grants, including one to build a foundry and kilns for metal casting for the university. Another grant allowed him to bring in renowned lecturers in metalworking. He also sat on a committee that brought public sculptures to the university to “embellish the culturally rich environment.”
Warrick is known as a dedicated instructor who teaches multiple metalworking courses. He said being a mentor to metalworking students is vital because mentors perpetuate the craft and can change lives. He has mentored students at ULAR, supervised interns from the University of Central Arkansas and taught students from his home studio. He has consulted and taught workshops and classes in Indiana and Tennessee.
National Sculptors' Guild Associate Harold Linke was selected by Peggy Fleming Jenkins to create the new Peggy Fleming Trophy for the Broadmoor Skating Club.
The award was created by the 1968 Olympic gold medalist to recognize skaters who, like Fleming-Jenkins, excels in artistic expression and presents a performance that is a complete composition. The inaugural award of the trophy was presented in Colorado Springs at the Broadmoor World Arena on Friday June 22, 2018, to Timothy Dolensky of Atlanta.
Harold Linke is known for simple, elegant, lyrical sculptures that capture the essence of the movement and the emotion of the moment. This trophy is in harmony with those themes and is meant to capture the evocative beauty inherent in truly artistic figure skating. Harold said, “Working with Peggy on this project has been such a joy. She has such artistry in her skating that made my sculpture a natural fit for this trophy. I am honored to have been selected to create it, see it presented by Peggy, and to meet its first recipient.”
The Peggy Fleming Trophy is awarded for excellence in artistic skating and is presented by Peggy Fleming Jenkins and the Broadmoor Skating Club
2018 is the inaugural year for this new competition in which a total of 27 Junior and Senior level men and ladies competed together in presenting each skater’s ability to artistically express and present a complete composition while demonstrating technical skills. The music, creativity and overall performance were the emphasis of the event and all elements were assessed from an artistic point of view. Judging guidelines allowed creativity and expression to take center stage.
These elements were the accents of the program, not the driving force and had set base values so that competitors could focus on performance instead of the number of revolutions and/or positions.
The competition recognized an important emerging direction in figure skating which is gaining new significance. There was one unifying goal -- showcase artistry and creativity in a competitive setting. For instance, a “signature move” had been added as one of the elements. This move could be an iconic, or a new and original, move, jump or spin tailored to each skater’s style and imagination.
Peggy Fleming, a member of the Broadmoor Skating Club when she won the 1968 Olympic Gold Medal in Figure Skating, supports this direction and is privileged to have introduced the Peggy Fleming Trophy as an event in the 2018 Broadmoor Open in Colorado Springs. Peggy commissioned an original sculpture as the trophy to celebrate the event. Timothy Dolensky of the Atlanta Figure Skating Club came in first place winning a price of $3000. Camden Pulkinen of the Broadmoor Skating Club and Jordan Moeller of the Northern Ice Skating Club placed in second and third and won prizes of $2000 and $1000, respectively.
In addition to the winners, the following is a list of skaters who participated in the 2018 inaugural event: Lily Sun, Sonja Hilmer, Emily Chan, Thomas Schwappach, Lauren Russell, Jamie Hathaway, Ben Jalovick, Ivy Liu, Courtney Hicks, Jacob DeWolfe, Morgan Sewall, Nakira Kreofsky, Maxine Marie Bautista, Haley Conrad, Danil Siianytsia, Marielle Chambers, Maryn Pierce, Nica Digerness, Julia Fennell, Alyssa Rich, Mieryla Flindley, Livvy Shilling, Andrew Torgashev and Hannah Harrell.
Kathleen Caricof's "Beginning Life" won Best of Show at Little Rock's Sculpture at the River Market.
The city will be placing this in their new sculpture garden, the Vogel Schwartz Garden designed by National Sculptors' Guild director John Kinkade, along with several others from the show.
JK Designs’ Principal, John Kinkade, founded the National Sculptors’ Guild in 1992 with a handful of sculptors who wished to find thoughtful public applications for their work. Representation has since grown to