A self-described landscape sculptor, Kentucky’s James Wade is inspired by a sense of place.
Company/studio: Hammermark Studio, which started in 2002, is located near Lexington on the artist’s family farm.
Artist: Born in Columbus, IN, Wade moved as a teenager to Lexington, KY. He studied art at the University of Kentucky, where he earned a BFA. He also received an MFA from the University of Georgia.
He retired after 22 years from a university teaching career but continues to instruct courses and workshops in sculpture and foundry practices nationally and abroad while doing his own artwork.
Art & materials: Primarily sculpture in mixed media and cast metals, including bronze, aluminum, cast iron and lead. Also cast urethane foam in the “Nurf” series.
What’s popular: The “Pocket Landscapes” series, $1,200 to $2,500. Cast in bronze or iron, the works reference place and our interaction with the land. They most often include scaled architectural forms placed within undulating landscape forms.
- “House Hole” series, $250 to $1200.
- “Laser Drawing” series, $750 to $3,000.
- “Nurf” series, $200 to $1200
Favorite tools: Foundry furnaces, molding sand, an upholstery needle and string.
- Sculptors including: Giuseppe Penone, Katrín Sigurdardóttir, Rachel Whiteread and Beverly Pepper.
- Industrial and agrarian architecture.
Special commission: In 2011, the Bournville Village Trust commissioned Wade to create a public artwork. His cast iron sculpture “Measures” was modeled and cast at the Museum of Steel Sculpture in Coalbrookdale, England. Completed in 2012, the work is sited in the square of Lightmoor Village, Shropshire.
Honor: Solo sculpture exhibition at the National Ornamental Metal Museum in Memphis, TN, 2017.
Recent awards: 2023 Great Meadows Foundation Artist Professional Development Grant. Great Meadows is a grant-giving foundation, launched in 2016 by contemporary art collector and philanthropist Al Shands (1928-2021). The grant is named for the home that Al and his late wife Mary created,
Recent project: A series of cast urethane wall sculptures for two exhibitions in Minnesota. They are part of a series called Nurf, cast in a similar fun and squishy material referencing the trademark toys. Based in the same ideas as the “House Hole” series – memories, cul de sacs, and play.
What’s next: A two-week artist residency at The Bullpen art centre in Oxfordshire, England. April 25-May 10.
Where to buy:
- Main Cross Gallery, Lexington, KY. ([email protected])
Get social: Instagram: @ james_wade_sculpture