Rockport Center for the Arts is pleased to announce the acquisition of a significant sculptural work by celebrated Swedish sculptor, Kent Ullberg. The dedication of the new work will take place in March 2017 and it will be promoted ahead of the 28th Annual Tour of Homes (April 8-9, 2017).
In 2016, the families of David Herring and Jane Guinn, in consultation with the artist,began the process of selecting the second of two Ullberg pieces for public display in Rockport.
The first Ullberg monument, Rites of Spring, was dedicated in September 2000 thanks to a generous gift from the Margaret Sue Rust Foundation. Rites of Spring is the famed monumental13-foot tall bronze sculpture of two whooping cranes that was the genesis of the now renowned Sculpture Garden. Started under Mary Lucille Jackson’s administration, the Sculpture Garden has been a sixteen-year labor of love for patrons of the arts.
Taylor Hendrix, Director of Visual Arts states “positioned between Rockport Harbor and Aransas Bay, the Sculpture Garden has become one of the most unique places to observe a truly diverse collection of sculpture.” The new 5-foot tall sculptural work is cast stainless steel, and will be the first such outdoor sculpture in the area.
Roger Tory Peterson, an American naturalist, ornithologist, artist, and educator, regarded as one of the founding inspirations for the 20th-century environmental movement stated "No one during the latter half of (the twentieth century) has celebrated the animal form with greater enthusiasm and virtuosity. Very simply, Kent's public monuments have come close to symbolizing an age of environmental awareness that (was) a stepping stone to the (new)millennium."
A native of Sweden, Kent Ullberg studied at the Swedish University College of Art in Stockholm and worked in museums in Germany, the Netherlands, France, Africa and Colorado. After living in Botswana, Africa for seven years he moved to the United States. He currently lives in Padre Island, Texas. He also maintains a studio in Loveland, Colorado.
Ullberg is a member of numerous art organizations and has been honored with many prestigious awards. His most recent accolade is the Lifetime Achievement Award from The Society of Animal Artists. Ullberg is best known for his monumental works executed for museums and municipalities across the globe. His Fort Lauderdale and Omaha installations which span several city blocks are the largest bronze wildlife compositions ever executed. Both earned him the coveted Henry Hering Medal Award from the National Sculpture Society in New York. His most recent installation is Snow-Mastodon, a life-size bronze mastodon placed at the Denver Museum of Nature and Science.
Ullberg stated, “I’m delighted and honored to have a second sculpture at the beautiful Rockport Center for the Arts Sculpture Garden. Like most of my work, it’s inspired by nature and appropriately in this case, by the rich wildlife of the Texas coast.” Presently, the Coastal Bend is host to 17 monuments by Ullberg. His sculptures are part of corporate, public and private collections across the globe. Ullberg has never been busier. He currently has work in an exhibit in Berchtesgaden, in the German Bavarian Alps. In May 2017, the Millesgården Museum in Stockholm, Sweden, where he spent his formative years as an art student, will be host to a retrospective exhibition.