What Exactly Is a Sculptor?

What Exactly Is a Sculptor?

by Susan Huebert
Jobs People Do | JobsPeopleDo.com

People come from all over the world to see artwork such as sculptures at places like the Vatican in Rome and Parliament Hill in Ottawa. You might expect to see only work by world famous artists from Paris or New York. However, if you visit these places, you might find the work of a Winnipeg sculptor named Leo Mol. He was born as Leonid Molodozhanyn in Ukraine in 1915 but spent much of his life in Canada. He worked as a sculptor in Manitoba but sold his art to people around the world.

Sculptors are artists who work with materials like bronze, clay, and stone to make statues of animals, people, or objects. Some sculptors are self-taught and learn their art from books or from many hours of practice. Others work as apprentices with more experienced artists who teach them what they need to know. Some sculptors attend university or art school. One important area of study is art history, which helps people understand the different styles of artwork that people have used in the past. The Canadian Art Foundation also had educational programs for students at many different levels.

Like many other artists, Leo Mol studied art before he began his career. He first attended classes at the Kunst Akademie in Berlin, Germany, and at the Academy of Art in The Hague, Netherlands. He moved to Canada in 1948 and settled in Winnipeg, where he lived for the rest of his life. Some of his most famous sculptures are busts, which are carvings of people’s heads and necks. He made busts of several popes and cardinals in the Catholic Church and also of a former Canadian Prime Minister, John Diefenbaker. In 1989, he donated much of his artwork to the City of Winnipeg, and the Leo Mol Sculpture Garden opened in Assiniboine Park in 1992.

Sculptors like Leo Mol can earn a lot of money by selling their work around the world, but their income depends on how much people like the statues. Some sculptors work in museums, schools, or advertising agencies, where they receive a regular salary. Even if they work in the same place as other people, sculptors generally work alone until the piece of art is ready to display. Then they need to work with others to find a place to put the sculptures. Often, sculptors work with commercial or non-profit galleries to display their work. They might sell some pieces to museums or art galleries or they might have art shows where people come to look at their work.

Art shows are often a large part of a sculptor’s life. These shows give the artist a chance to meet others and to talk about the process of creating art. They also give people the chance to see the artistic works and possibly to buy some pieces. Are you artistic? Do you like to work with clay and other materials? If you are good with your hands and you enjoy creating art, you could consider becoming a sculptor.

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