HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Inspired by architect Walter Gropius and the Bauhaus German art school’s influence, former Point Pleasant, W.Va. resident and Ohio Valley artist Jamie Sloane’s sculpture “The Kiss” was recently displayed in front of the Huntington Museum of Art.
Gropius founded the Bauhaus in 1919 in Weimar, Germany. The school sought to bring all arts together in a universal form and its influence has affected modern design, architecture and its education across the world. Gropius is also credited in the oversight of a collaboration to design a 1970 addition to the Huntington museum after escaping Nazi Germany and ending up in West Virginia.
“This is my third moment with the Huntington museum,” said Sloane. “They commissioned this sculpture and had this upcoming show, ‘The Wide Reach of the Bauhaus.’ This is the 50th anniversary of the addition to the Huntington Museum of Art.”
The show focuses on the international reach of the Bauhaus art school, its students and teachers and will continue to be featured at the museum until January 10, next year.
“It’s a natural instinct,” said Sloane. “That’s kind of how I was with art. I never had to try as hard. I consider that a blessing… I started out as a singer, then I decided I didn’t want to do that anymore. Then I went from music composer to painting and sculpture. I was always creative and needed something to do and I had a good hand, so I decided to do art. I tried to learn as quickly as I could on how to do a nice painting and things like that. I needed to find something to express what I wanted to say.”
Sloane said that he is self-taught in his art techniques. Despite that, Sloane is sure to credit and commend others in collaborating on works of art such as “The Kiss” in the spirit of combined vision.
Sloane said he was originally approached by Huntington Museum of Art Senior Curator Chris Hatten to create the piece.
“I had to go into an in-depth study of what Bauhaus was,” said Sloane. “I pitched the (sculpture) idea as two water fowl that were going to be kissing above water.”
Sloane noted that Bauhaus was an artistic movement representing the coming together of different things to create something greater and that the coming together of partners was one the simplest yet greatest expressions of life.
“It’s about the spirit of collaboration,” said Sloane. “That was the whole Bauhaus movement. It was collaborating with some of the greatest minds out there.”
“The Kiss” is a steel sculpture and weighs around 2,000 pounds.
Sloane noted that Brian and Mark Heinz of Kustom Koatings assisted with the sculpture’s panting. Jack Bourdelais served as a patron of the project. Jason Ryan served as the collaboration’s master welder. Sloane credited Hatten and Director of the Huntington Museum of Art Geoffrey Fleming for their efforts in the collaboration. Sloane also credited his partner Jimmy Hobbs as being an inspiration and guiding force as his director in an art career.
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Dean Wright is a freelance reporter and former full-time staff writer for Ohio Valley Publishing.