Sculptor Hal Stewart in Chaco Culture National Historical Park

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SCULPTOR HAL STEWART IN CHACO CULTURE NATIONAL HISTORICAL PARK

 

Listen to the Big Blend Radio conversation with award-winning and acclaimed southwestern bronze sculptor Hal Stewart, who discusses his work and National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF) artist-in-residence experience at Chaco Culture National Historical Park in Northwest New Mexico. Tanya Ortega – Founder of NPAF, and Nathan Hatfield – Chief of Interpretation at Chaco Culture NHP, also join in the discussion. Music featured on this episode is “Chaco” from the album “12 X 6” by the Tall Men Group.

 

 

Hal Stewart is a man you’d like to spend some time with. Being chosen as the April 2018 Artist-in-Residence at Chaco Culture National Historical Park by the National Parks Arts Foundation is quite perfect, as the Arizona artist takes his inspiration from historical southwestern lives and cultures. With the self-effacing charm of a man whose very first bronze sculpture was a commission, Stewart has lived an altogether rich life. One full of hands-on experience and just enough formal education to leave him with stories that are sure to entertain, and will likely leave one a little more aware of any number of other lives – from the Buffalo Soldier, to cowboys, to first people’s matriarchs and braves.

Mr. Stewart was raised in Illinois and as a boy he sculpted the clay along the riverbanks, leaving the figures to dry in the sun. After a stint in the armed forces, he moved to Arizona where he worked in construction and for eight years enjoyed the struggles and rewards of a farmer’s life. Upon retiring, he took up clay again and a friend, upon seeing his first figure, told him he’d pay to get it cast and buy it from him. From this, Stewart’s career has flourished, including such honors as Best of Show at the Arizona Art Alliance Summer Show and teaching at Scottsdale Artists School.

Stewart goes to great lengths to preserve authenticity in his work, visiting with first people’s tribes, nature preserves, and ranches for his far-reaching subjects. “I strive to incorporate attitude, emotions, and action into every one of my sculptures and trust the viewer will see those traits,” said Mr. Stewart. He succeeds, as one can feel the movement in his Pima Basket Carrier or Buffalo Soldier sculptures.

Programs like Chaco Culture National Historical Park’s artist-in-residence series, in which artists seek inspiration in the beauty and history of our national parks, and agree to share their ideas with park patrons, represent some of the highest aspirations of the National Park Service, an arm of the US Department of the Interior. The National Parks Arts Foundation (NPAF), a 501(c)3 non-profit, is the only nationwide organization working with the NPS to promote arts programs, and is continually expanding its Artist-in-Residence opportunities to NPS locations nationwide. The NPAF encourages all types of artists to apply for these residencies, from traditional landscape painters, photographers, to performers, installations, films/video, as well as writers, poets, sound artists, and new arts media. For more information on how you can support the Chaco Culture National Historical Park Artist in Residence or for more information about this and other programs, visit www.nationalparksartsfoundation.org.

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