Studies & Degrees in Sculpture

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The first thing that would probably come to mind when you hear the word “sculpture” is Michelangelo’s magnum opus - David. It is a magnificent work of art sculpted from Carrara marble, depicting King David in a contemplative pose before going into the battle with Goliath. This is perhaps one of the most famous works of sculpture and one of Renaissance’s finest creations done in 1501 to 1504. Five centuries had passed, but the sculpture’s popularity, greatness, and magical appeal remain - a free standing testament that great work stands the test of time. Since then, the art of sculpting has evolved. Modern artists, like Picasso, has revolutionized the art when he began his “creations” by combining objects into a single piece, like the untitled work he did in 1967 for the city of Illinois. Until now, the idea represented in the sculpture is unknown. Some speculations say that it is a bird; others say it’s a woman; while others believe that it’s a horse. The abstract figure is one of Chicago’s landmarks and is widely known today as “Chicago Picasso.”

A Sculpture is a three-dimensional artwork created or assembled from different moldable materials, like bronze, marble, gold, and ice among the popular ones. Some say that sculpting is the act of finding or bringing out the art form already embedded in a material. This is done through carving, shaping, and molding of material into an artwork. Being three-dimensional, a sculpture renders itself to be viewed from all angles. Symmetry, perspective, and detail are, therefore, of utmost importance for a sculpture to be remarkable or at least pass the critic’s scrutiny.

Sculpture is taught in art colleges in major universities worldwide. A few semesters are usually devoted to study this art form. Students are taught its history, principles, and techniques. Hours are usually devoted in studying the works of great sculptures, like Michelangelo, Donatello, Picasso, and Lipchitz to name a few who made it to be world famous in the field. The subjects under this field of study also orient the students on the different materials used in making sculptures and their suitability to different settings and environments. Students also learn the tools of the craft and their uses. One the other note, while it is true that the techniques of sculpting can be taught in schools, it cannot be denied that this vocation requires an innate talent in art. Not everybody has a gift of expressing thoughts, ideas, and feelings through visual means. Sculpting schools provide a venue for the students to hone their innate talent and an environment where the student could explore the possibilities of turning different materials into world famous works of arts.

Being a sculptor is very often a freelance work, much like being a painter or a photographer. Aspiring sculptors usually subject their creations to gallery owners and curators’ evaluation for the possibility of having the pieces exhibited in art shows and other events. These art galleries provide the necessary mechanism for artists to market their craft to the public. Artists with recognized works are sometimes commissioned to create pieces for institutions (both government and private) and individuals capable of paying lucrative sums.