Artist Story: Patrick Sullivan

Look closely at one of Patrick Sullivan’s intricate works of carved stone, and you can start to sense movement and warmth emanating from within the rock. Observers often describe the “flow” inherent in his sculptures.  Originally from Vancouver, Canada, and now a dual-citizen living in Pine Valley, Utah, Sullivan talks openly about the living nature of the stone he loves to work with. “You have to get a feel for each one”, he says, “especially the big ones. There has to be an intimate connection between the stone and my own consciousness, my spirit, for the piece to really come alive.”

Sullivan prefers to do much of his work with hammer and chisel, just as sculptors have done for centuries. “I love to work directly with the stone to capture the essence of feeling from the moment of creation.” But electric or pneumatic tools have their place as well, particularly when working in the harder materials that he prefers, such as granite, basalt, and marble.  For several of his public art projects, Sullivan has set up his workbench outdoors, in full public view.  “That’s a really engaging way to sculpt,” he says. “People get involved and feel like they’re a part of it.  It’s not just something that was dropped in. They’re a part of the creative process.”

One of Patrick Sullivan’s pieces, “O’Keeffe 5”, was jury selected for St. George’s 2015 Art Around the Corner Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit, and is currently on display in front of the Main Street Plaza between the Boulevard and Tabernacle.  The sculpture is part of a series honoring the great American artist, Georgia O’Keeffe.  Carved from white, Carrara marble, the smooth, evocative shapes form an excellent example of Sullivan’s trademark style, his own blending of abstract and representational styles which he terms “lyrical symbolism”.    

Sullivan has been commissioned to create large pieces for multiple communities, with over 20 public art projects installed in the United States, Canada, and Germany.  Tulsa, Oklahoma selected his 10-foot, 10-ton sculpture in Indiana limestone, “Last Love 7” for display in Guthrie Green Park. The 8-ton piece “Motion” is permanently installed at the Centennial Hills Transit Center in Las Vegas.  And Vandalia, Ohio chose his 6-ton “Vandalia Chiseled” for public display.  The artist carved each of these on-site, allowing people to watch as he worked.  “I see public art as a healing thing,” says Sullivan. “As I’m creating, I do think about people and how they will interact with my work.”

For the 2015 Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit, “O’Keeffe 5” is sponsored by the Utah Division of Arts and Museums.  As with many of the pieces in the exhibit, this beautifully carved stone sculpture can be purchased, or leased-to-own by interested organizations or individuals.  Art Around the Corner is a non-profit foundation, dedicated to enhancing the community and elevating the quality of life through public works of art.  All purchases from the foundation are tax deductible.  For those interested in Patrick Sullivan’s work, or in supporting Art Around the Corner, see www.artaroundthecorner.org.

Cindy Trueblood
Director of Sales and Community Relations

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