Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Grandpa's second act as a sculptor

My grandfather on my mom's side spent most of his working life employed with the family's file and index company in Kankakee, Illinois. Although it wasn't where his true passion lay (he preferred building stuff), he did his best. In 1954, when grandpa Gil was forty-six, he had a heart attack. A few years later he had a second one, which inspired him to take early retirement. With his kids, including my mom, in college and just enough savings, grandpa Gil resolved to pursue his true passion - sculpture.

For the next fifteen years he studied and created, producing a remarkable body of work in a wide range of materials. He also kept a scrapbook that documented his new vocation, including photos, articles, show announcements and other ephemera. Recently this scrapbook was handed down to me from my mom. This winter, I put together a little book based on it to share with family and friends.

You can check it out for yourself here (click on the image).

Grandpa Gil died when I was just four, but I have always felt a strong connection to him -  especially as an artist. I remember the two of us sitting outside of his and my grandma's Carmel, California apartment picking up and examining stones in their driveway. With great care and seriousness we shared our observations and curiosities. It is one of my first memories.

No comments: