Artist Story: James Moore

Almost every professional artist I’ve ever spoken with knew at a young age they were destined to walk the creative path.  But often, that path is not a straight one, but meanders with lots of twists and turns. James G. Moore is one example.

Born in Fort Collins, Colorado, Jim grew up in a family of six children.  His parents were mindful to expose their kids to the wonders of the world surrounding them.  They took regular trips to the mountains, libraries, museums, churches, and other places of learning.  He recalls spending countless hours together with his father in the woodshop where his creative inclinations were encouraged and flourished.  Art was his favorite subject in school.

Jim was heavily influenced in his high school years by what was happening in the neighboring town of Loveland, Colorado.  In the early 80s, Loveland experienced a boom in sculpture sales and manufacturing due to it’s “Sculpture in the Park” show. This show started in 1984 with fifty local artists participating and an estimated 2,000 people attending. Today, Loveland hosts the largest juried sculpture show in the country with over 160 artists, tens of thousands in visitors and sales over $1 million in one weekend!  Loveland has been described as a “city which has a love affair with the arts”.

Knowing this, perhaps it is not surprising that Jim produced his first bronze edition when he was just 16 years old.  After graduating high school, Jim joined the Navy Reserves, went to boot camp and then entered his freshman year of college at the University of New Mexico where he studied art.  He returned to Colorado and worked for a small bronze foundry in his hometown. This period of his life was spent learning and improving his skill in all aspects of the bronze casting process.  

In 1990, Jim put his art on hold as his Naval Reserve unit was recalled to active duty, and deployed in support of Desert Storm.  While his creative career was interrupted, this experience proved to be highly influential. “After the war ended our ship traveled to the South Pacific so I was provided the opportunity to see parts of Thailand, Hong Kong, The Philippines and Japan” he recalls. “I was exposed to arts and crafts that have strongly influenced my style.  I was especially enamored by the huge temples and beautiful, serene Zen gardens of Japan”.

Jim taught middle and high school art for 15 years before taking the leap of faith and making his sideline passion for sculpting into his full-time work.  He describes his last few years as rewarding and full of adventure. Jim’s faith plays a central role in every aspect of his life. It is this environment, he says, that has elevated his artwork to a level of excellence that makes it stand out as unique and inspired.  

Jim’s piece “Blue Heron Though the Ages” is part of the Art Around the Corner exhibit for this year, and can be seen on the corner of Main and Tabernacle.  This piece was inspired by a petroglyph Jim saw in the Petrified Forest National Park. He replicated the scene several times in styles representative of different periods of time: prehistoric, impressionist, and abstract expressionism.  A bell was added to merge Western and Asian aesthetics, and provide interactivity. It rings with a deep, resonate tone.

Art Around the Corner is a non-profit foundation working to enhance downtown St. George with captivating outdoor art.  The Outdoor Sculpture Exhibit is the foundation’s flagship project, which each year selects around two dozen sculptures for a temporary installation.  Organizations and individuals can buy pieces for public or private installation. The foundation retains a portion of the proceeds, which in turn funds expansion of the city’s permanent sculpture collection.

Cindy Trueblood
Art Around the Corner Foundation