Oskaloosa.com

March 29, 2013

‘World-class artist’ speaks at George Daily

By ANDY GOODELL
The Oskaloosa Herald

OSKALOOSA — His depiction represents one of Iowa’s finest contributions to the world.

Oskaloosa High School Art Teacher Matt Kargol introduced sculptor Benjamin Victor before he spoke to students and others at George Daily Community Auditorium Wednesday. Kargol said Victor is doing a sculpture, which will represent the state of Iowa at the National Statuary Hall in Washington, D.C. Victor has been doing a residency in Des Moines recently working on this sculpture he was commissioned, which depicts famed Iowa scientist Dr. Norman Borlaug.

Kargol noted that Victor is a “world-class artist.”

“He’ll be the only living artist to have two sculptures at National Statuary Hall once this one is put in there,” said Kargol.

Victor began his presentation at George Daily by noting the importance of Borlaug’s work with plants in Mexico. Victor said that, through Borlaug’s work with wheat, he saved over a billion lives worldwide.

“He was an amazing individual in world history,” said Victor of Borlaug. “Hopefully placing the full-size statue in the Statuary Hall will help give him some of the prestige that he deserves.”

In discussing the process of designing the Borlaug sculpture, Victor noted that he went through a few different options before settling on what would be included in the piece. The final design includes Borlaug with wheat blowing in the wind behind him, as well as a notebook and pencils, which Victor said are “emblematic of his research and the research that you have to do to be a great scientist.”

Victor also talked of art history and the creative process, as well as what he sees as being one of the goals of art.

“That’s the goal with art work — it’s to create a work that people can look at as if it were human,” explained Victor.

How he got into sculpture as a career was also discussed by Victor. He said the first life-size sculpture he did was in college and depicts Samson.

To learn more about Victor’s art, visit his Web site at http://www.benvictor.com.

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Herald City Editor Andy Goodell can be reached at news2@oskyherald.com.