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Sculpting Bronze Beauty

Nnamdi Okonkwo shares what inspires his nationally recognized pieces.

Sculpting is an incredible form of art where artists create three-dimensional pieces that can be touched and seen from all sides. This takes patience and time to create, but once completed, becomes one of the most engaging forms of art.

Fayetteville based sculptor, Nnamdi Okonkwo, uses sculpture to provoke different thoughts and ideas. “It is a mode of expression that comes naturally to me, and it is straight to the point and devoid of pretension,” Okonkwo shares.

He began studying sculpture 30 years ago and has been a professional sculptor for 20 years. Before venturing into the world of sculpting, Okonkwo flirted with painting, but quickly realized he needed something more. “I started to search for another medium when it became obvious to me that painting wasn’t the right art form for the ideas that were begging for expression in my heart,” Okonkwo explains. “The first day I touched clay, it wouldn’t have been more obvious to me that I had found the right medium had I heard an audible voice from heaven telling me the same thing.”

What you will find in Okonkwo’s pieces is the depiction of inner beauty and strength in the form of shapes. Many of his sculptures represent women, he believes women hold angelic shape and embody unconditional love. “I’m drawn to the form of the female because it lends itself to the expression of the gentle and tender human attributes such as love, joy and serenity.”    

Okonkwo sculpts out of his studio in Fayetteville, Georgia. The bronze casting of the finished clay sculpture takes place in a bronze foundry. Casting his pieces in bronze gives them a timeless, almost ancient appearance. “The bronze casting process is a complicated, labor-intensive and rather expensive process, which is better understood when observed,” Okonkwo explains. He frequents many bronze foundries across the US, but for those who want to witness this process locally, you can do so at Inferno Art Foundry in Union City, Georgia.

While his work is created locally, his pieces are represented nationally, from Washington DC to Sarasota, Florida and places in between. His most memorable and well-traveled pieces have been featured at a city park in Changsha, China and a street installation in New York City. You can also view his work at his studio in Fayetteville by appointment.

As far as what’s next for Okonkwo, he’s ready for whatever may come. “I always believe that there are greater things in the future. It’s a journey of discovery for me, and I’m excited because I know my art springs from a better and loftier place than my mind or intellect, a place where all marvelous things are possible! I just have to be available and ready.”

For more information or to reach Nnamdi, go to www.nnamdiart.com.

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