Sculpting Visions

Jenny Aguilar was one of the most connected persons in her community. As the Director of the local Arts Museum, he knew all of the community leaders. Lately when she met with her colleagues as a group or individually, their conversations focused on their community as a microcosm of the nation as a whole. It seemed as if all the threads that held society together were unraveling. The division in the nation was also present in the community. The basic principles that had existed since the founding of the nation were being challenged by influencers who were bent on disrupting the beliefs and values of those who were easily swayed.

The only thing that Jenny had to keep her spirits up was the forthcoming wood sculptures exhibit. Jenny had invited future sculpture, Doug Poston to have dinner with her that night before the exhibit was open the next day. She wanted to have a chance to really understand the wood sculpting process.

JA:          I’d like you take me through a sculpture from start to finish. I guess you can start by finding wood you can work with?

DP:         I used to do that, but that just didn’t seem right.

JA:          What do you mean?

DP:         I just feel every piece of wood has potential to be something great. Now I literally just pick a piece of wood.

JA:          Then what?

DP:         I view it from all directions. This may sound new-ageish but the wood will talk to me if I just listen. It seems as if the wood has an idea of what it might be and my role is to help shape it into that vision.

JA:          That does sound new-ageish as you say, but I can’t deny the results. I’ve seen the before and after photos you have taken. Once you have the vision, what do you do next?

DP:         That’s when I begin to shape the wood into the vision that we developed.

JA:          I guess that’s where your artistic talent takes over?

DP:         I have to admit that not many people could do the sculpting, but not for the reasons you might expect.

JA:          What do you mean?

DP:         There is a skill in sculpting. But the most important traits for fulfilling a vision are things like patience, resilience, adaptation, awareness, and acceptance. Sculpting is an adaptive journey, not a repeatable process. Every piece of wood has its own challenges, and you have to work within those.

JA:          What’s the hardest part of the work you do?

DP:         Saying goodbye to the sculptures that I complete. I always worry that there is more that I could have done to help that piece of wood live up to its full potential.

As she drove home, Jenny began to recall the conversation and something bugged her. “Why can’t we view every person in our community the way that Doug looks at a piece of wood?

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“What sculpture is to a block of marble, education is to the human soul.” – Joseph Addison (essayist)

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