People Magazine Article | Art of the Portrait Newsletter Interview
ALBUQUERQUE JOURNAL, May 17, 2005
|Goodacre: Sculptor won a Governor's Award for Excellence in the Arts|
Santa Fe Artists Win State Awards
The Associated Press
Three artists from Santa Fe have been selected to receive the Governor's Awards for Excellence in the Arts this year.
Gov. Bill Richardson and the New Mexico Arts Commission announced the recipients of the awards Monday.
The Santa Fe recipients are Glenna Goodacre for sculpture; Patrick Oliphant for his work as a cartoonist, painter and sculptor; and Ford Ruthling for painting, sculpture and printmaking.
"This year's arts awards recipients are talented, diverse and their art celebrates the spirit of New Mexico," Richardson said.
Other winners this year include William Goodman of Tinnie for sculpture and painting; Douglas Kent Hall of Albuquerque for photography; Frederick Hammersley of Albuquerque for painting; Kevin McIlvoy of Las Cruces for literature; and J. Paul Taylor of Mesilla and Edward Lujan of Albuquerque for contributions to the arts.
Juane Quick-to-See Smith was also selected as recipient of the 2005 Allan Houser Memorial Award, named for the late Chiricahua Apache sculpture and instructor at the Institute of American Indian Arts in Santa Fe. This award is presented to an American Indian who has demonstrated artistic success and community involvement.
The Governor's Arts Awards were established in 1974 by Gov. Bruce King.
Former recipients include artist Georgia O'Keeffe and authors Rudolfo Anaya and Max Evans.
All nominations are reviewed by a committee of the New Mexico Arts Commission. It sends its recommendations to the full commission and the governor.
PEOPLE MAGAZINE, June 14, 1999
Glenna in People Magazine
No Small Change
Sculptor Glenna Goodacre coins a new phase in funds: the Sacagawea dollar
As creator of the Vietnam Women's Memorial - the seven foot-tall bronze sculpture erected in 1993 on the Mall in Washington, D.C. - artist Glenna Goodacre has experienced her most gratifying moments watching visitors reach out to touch her work. "If someone is so moved by my piece that they want to put a hand on it and feel whatever they can," says Goodacre, 59, "what better compliment could you get?"
By that measure, Goodacre is about to become a most successful sculptor. Next year the U.S. Mint will put into circulation a dollar coin bearing Goodacre's portrayal of Sacagawea, the Shoshone Indian teen who served as interpreter for explorers Lewis and Clark on their westward trek nearly two centuries ago. "The result," says the artist, "will be a Goodacre Sculpture in everybody's pocket."
It was last summer that Goodacre read in a newspaper that the Mint had chosen Sacagawea as the subject of the coin that would replace the ill-fated Susan B. Anthony dollar, which was rebuffed by Americans because it was hard to distinguish from a quarter. Since there are no depictions of the real Sacagawea, Goodacre found her own model, a 22-year-old Shoshone woman names Rany'L He-dow Teton, and created six different designs, which were among 121 submitted to the Mint by 23 artists. After Mint officials collected public responses to six contending designs on a web site, they narrowed it down to three - all, as it happened, by Goodacre. On May 4 her rendition of Sacagawea carrying a baby (the young interpreter brought her infant son on the expedition) was unveiled. "I always thought, how could I do better than to have a piece on the Mall in Washington?" Goodacre says. "And then along comes this."
Born in Lubbock, Texas, the second of two daughters of a real estate developer and a homemaker, Goodacre studied art at Colorado College in Colorado Springs and later in New York City. "It was always a goal of mine to be a professional artist," says Goodacre, who put much of her energy into raising Tim, 36, a real estate broker in Boulder, Colo., and Jill, 35, the former Victoria's Secret model who is married to Harry Connick Jr. Divorced from their father, real estate broker Bill Goodacre, in 1984, Goodacre remarried in 1995 to Mike Schmidt, a Dallas lawyer who commutes on the weekends to Santa Fe, where she has lived since 1983.
Working at first as a portrait painter, Goodacre switched in 1969 to bronze sculptures, many depicting women and children. "I generally do what I wish, and I'm fortunate people want to collect my pieces," says Goodacre, whose prices start at $1,200. Her sculptures of Ronald Reagan stand at his presidential library and at the National Cowboy Hall of Fame in Oklahoma City.
Coin enthusiasts are giving great reviews to Goodacre's Sacagawea design, which will appear on a gold-colored coin with an eagle (by another artist) on the flip side. Unlike all other U.S. coins, which bear profiles, the Sacagawea dollars "have someone staring right at you," says Beth Deisher, editor of Coin World. Goodacre hopes that, looking the famous Indian in the eye, people will be moved by her youth, strength, and intensity. "We'd all like to do something, "she says, "that truly means something emotionally to people."
-Zelie Pollon in Santa Fe and Susan Gray in Washington, D.C.
For more information, please visit www.usmint.gov
DIMENSIONAL COMPOSITIONS, AN INTERVIEW WITH GLENNA GOODACRE, N.A.
By Edward Jonas, From the Art of the Portrait Newsletter, First Quarter, 2002.
For more information about the Portrait Society of America, see www.portraitsociety.org
Glenna Goodacre in her Santa Fe studio with the clay original of After the Ride for a 7'6" bronze portrait of Ronald Reagan.
Glenna Goodacre, N.A., has been an academician of the National Academy of Design since 1994 and a fellow of the National Sculpture Society since 1981. She has received honorary doctorates from Colorado College, her alma mater, and Texas Technical University in her hometown of Lubbock, Texas. She is most recognized for her public monuments, such as the Vietnam Women's Memorial, her 7 1/2' standing portrait of Ronal Reagan for the Reagan Library, and the soon-to-be unveiled Irish Famine Memorial in Philadelphia. Portrait Society Vice Chairman Edward Jonas recently interviewed the nationally recognized sculptor.
Q: Tell me when you first knew that you wanted to be an artist.
A: I knew at a very early age; I guess I was ten or eleven. I had always drawn and always was fascinated with painting people. I didn't have any interest in learning to paint horses or landscapes.
Q: You went to Colorado College. Was that to study art?
A: Yes, but at Colorado College, as at most schools, there was too much abstraction for me, and I was much more attracted to realistic work. In fact, I considered medical Illustration as a career, which requires a high degree of skill in handling detail. After college I married and then had two children to raise while I painted portraits in Lubbock, Texas. I attended the Art Students League of New York in 1967. I studied there with Bill Draper, who has had a tremendous influence on me and is one of the finest portrait painters I have ever seen. My focus was still on painting, and I didn't even go down to the sculpture department at the League.
Q: When did sculpture become more important to you?
A: I didn't begin to sculpt until 1969. A good friend by the name of Forest Fenn, who owned a gallery and foundry, gave me a lump of wax and suggested that I try my hand at it. I did a 6" figure of my daughter, which was an instant success, and a new career was launched.
Q: What is it about working with form rather than painting that made you change your emphasis?
A: painting and sculpture obviously have different problems to tackle. I was not comfortable with color, but sculpture seemed more complicated. Painters would say, yes, but you have to do the back of the head as well as the front. And that is all true. But I found the compositional opportunities very exciting, and I overcame the additional difficulties. I still paint occasionally and do a lot of drawing as preparation for sculptures.
Q: Is there any difference in the way people regard you now than when you were a painter?
A: Actually, yes. It's a funny deal being a sculptor. For some reason, people think of sculpting as something other than art- as though it is less difficult. There is frankly no basis to that perception whatsoever. It is widely held, and you do hear people say, "sculptors and artists," which seems strange to place a separation between the two.
Q: how do you arrive at your final design for you compositions? What is your creative process?
A: I do some drawing, but most of the time I'll do a small sketch in clay. For the Irish Famine Memorial I did several maquettes with little six-inch tall figures. When you realize that these have to be enlarged 15 to 16 times and you end up, much to your surprise, with 35 to 40 figures, you wonder, what have I gotten myself into?
Q: Do you ever think that you've bitten off more than you can chew?
A: Ambition can get you into trouble sometimes. But you know, I have a lot of self-confidence. I don't think there is anything that I cannot do. But the reality of time and physical exertion makes you realize there are a lot of things you can't do, and you just need to be wise in your selection.
Q: Speaking of big projects, have you ever experienced that post-high letdown after you've finished climbing the mountain and signed off on a piece?
A: I never have before until just recently. The Irish Famine Memorial, which I signed in June, was such a large project that afterwards I was happy to have some recuperation time. For a while, ideas just wouldn't come. Artists are like that, but in time the creative juices begin to flow again. I am looking forward to the next portrait commissions that I have coming up.
Q: I noticed in your Vietnam Women's Memorial and the Irish Famine Memorial a similar compositional device-a strong diagonal or triangular shape that leads you through the composition.
A: I love the diagonal; I use that concept very often in my work. I think it gives a dramatic touch to a work.
Q: In looking over your career, I'm seeing an increase of emotional content in your work.
A: Yes, and I know I will be criticized for it. Two critics for my Vietnam Women's Memorial lambasted me. Of course, it bothered me, but I've gotten over it, because I sculpted it to honor a distinct group of women whom I admired and focused upon their contributions. I have heard from so many of them how that sculpture has helped them deal with the Vietnam War; it has changed their lives. Vietnam War; it has changed their lives. Which is more important, to have a positive response from those women or a good review from some critic?
Q: Knowing your connection to the portrait, when you are doing a large multi-figure composition do you still try to find individual models for each head?
A: Yes, I had specific models for the Vietnam work. One of the figures was a nurse whom I have known for years. For the soldier, I actually used two or three models. . I wanted to represent more of an ethnic look, like Hispanic or Native American.
Q: Have you ever experienced any surprise that you're a woman in a field that has been dominated by men?
A: No, I haven't. When I was in school, though, my goal was to be considered a "professional artist" and not necessarily a professional "woman" artist. One of my heroes, Bettina Steinke, was the consummate professional. Her whole life was devoted to her painting. With regard to discrimination, in the early years, I ran into prejudice from Western and Southwestern arts organizations and juried shows. In some exhibitions I was the token woman.
Q: I know that you love the work of renowned painter Everett Kinstler, who is on our Advisory Board, and sculptor Stanley Bleifeld, who is a member of the Portrait Society's Steering Committee. Would you agree that their influence could be seen in your work?
A: I have been working the clay surface in a looser manner, with what you might call almost "soft edges." It has enabled me to simply suggest rather than overwhelm with detail. It really emphasizes movement. In the Irish Famine Memorial, the committee liked the idea of maintaining the broad, loose treatment of my maquette. I was so glad that they realized the richness it would bring to the form. If I ever hear someone say when they are walking through my studio, "My goodness, that shoelace looks so real, so detailed," as soon as they leave, I'll reach down and rework it. I'm looking for the broader impact rather than a collection of details.
Q: Let's talk about the new dollar coin issued by the U.S. Mint. In your rendering of Sacagawea, the Native American interpreter who was with Lewis and Clark, why did you choose the three-quarter profile, which is the most difficult view to sculpt, especially in low relief?
A: Actually, they chose the design. I submitted seven different designs of Sacagawea for the coin and a committee decided which one they wanted to use. I was happy about their choice because there has never been a three-quarter portrait on any U.S. coin. All the others have been profiles. This is the first circulating coin to have a woman with a baby on it, and I was fortunate to actually sculpt my final design before it was reduced for the dies. Also, there has never been a U.S. circulating coin designed by a woman.
Q: Every artist has a dream piece that they would like to create. Do you have one?
A: I get excited about each new piece that comes my way. After the Irish Famine Memorial, I had to take some time to recharge my creative batteries, but now I am excited about getting on with my next three commissions, which happen to be portraits. But if I had the physical strength and intestinal fortitude, I would love to carve big marble figures or groups, like the works of Michelangelo or Bernini. Besides endurance, the challenge would be to make an interesting composition and a moving piece of sculpture within the strict confines of a block of stone. Maybe in my next life.