Talented artists flock to Park City art galleries, eager to place their work here. Sculpture, perhaps the oldest of all art forms, plays a central role in the panoply of art in local galleries.

Sculpture, defined in its simplest terms, is three-dimensional art—or anything you can walk around. Earliest forms, tiny anthropomorphic figures in clay or carved from mammoth ivory, date back to 40,000 B.C.E.

Most people are familiar with classic Greek and Roman sculpture, monumental figures hewn from huge blocks of marble. Michaelangelo, creator of the iconic statue, David, glibly observed, “A great sculpture can roll down a hill without breaking.”

Today, sculpture is created from a variety of materials, far beyond traditional marble and bronze. Here are selected works by several sculptors, working in many mediums, representing some of the finest work on display in Park City galleries.

Joshua Tobey’s wildlife bronzes are at once playful and elegant. The artist transitioned from sculpting human figures to wildlife because he thought he could do a better job of revealing
the human condition that way.

“I chose to represent Joshua because of his ability to express personality,” says gallery owner Thomas Anthony. “He infuses a lot of humor into his animals, and his patinas are absolutely extraordinary. His work just puts a smile on your face,” says Anthony.

“Patina for me is an art discipline in itself, an essential part of the creative process,” says Tobey. “When people look at my artwork, they often have an emotional response or reaction to it. I feel like they identify with aspects of themselves in my work.”

Jane DeDecker captures moments that reveal truths about the human condition. She says her sculptures “stop life in mid-sentence—somewhere between inhaling and exhaling—
and gives it form.”

“Jane is a powerful sculptor whose work has a sensitive humanist touch. Her themes are timeless and relatable,” says gallery owner Susan Meyer. “Her pieces aren’t slick hard slabs of metal but rather have a natural tactile appeal. Her small sculptures feel like they’re made for holding, touching.”

“I love the three dimensions of sculpture. It just seems natural to me,” explains DeDecker,” who likes to build humanistic or metaphorical themes into her work. She tells a story through the simple moments that imprint our lives and define us. “I hope that everyone who looks at my work comes away with their own story or interpretation.”

The contrasts of nature and industry, light and shadow, chaos and order are themes found throughout Matt Devine’s work.

Julie Nester Gallery specializes in contemporary art and represents Devine and a number of emerging, mid-career and established artists from around the United States and Canada. “Our art encompasses a diversity of styles including figurative, abstract and landscape,” says gallery co-owner Julie Nester.

Devine’s organic shapes are formed out of sheet metal and solid materials and welded together in harmonious accord, often allowing the metal to appear as light as paper. These contrasts, plus the relationships of patterns and boundaries, reflect his desire to contain chaos and push out the discord of an information-saturated culture.

Joe Norman’s sculpture balances on the intersection of the natural and human-made world. Working in wood, stone and steel, he seeks to combine the right shape with the right emotion.
“I was really taken with Joe’s personality and the smart design decision he makes with his work,” says gallery owner Maren McMullin. “He creates sculptures that transform as you view them from one direction to the next. He’s extremely creative.”

“I steal natural shapes for my sculpture. Animal bones and river stones feel familiar in my gut. They’re all over the place, and they’re beautiful. My intent is to make art that contributes to a wider conversation about justice and care and our impact on the world. I hope it helps people think and be happy,” says Norman.

Tina Milisavljevich has always been fascinated with sculpture and three-dimensional pieces. “The possibilities with this medium are unending, says the sculptor, who gathers and uses polished pieces of driftwood from Montana’s Flathead Lake to create her unusual work. She often searches for old automobile parts, hoods and fenders from the 1950s and ’60s, and adds them to her sculptures for “strength and interest.”

“Tina’s sculptures are imaginative and captivating,” says gallery owner Megan McIntire. “Each piece is a one-of-a-kind creation composed of driftwood and various found objects. We love the way she gives each piece a feeling of movement and how she captures the unique spirit and personality of each animal she sculpts.”

“Somehow, the connection between the drift wood and the bygone era of these mighty automobiles evokes a feeling of wonder and remembrance in us all,” says Milisavljevich.

Adam Thomas Rees creates incredibly complex sculptures from a variety of materials. Gallery owner, Karen Terzian, found his talent and uniqueness incredible. “His work is very painstaking
and continues to change and evolve. It is so unique, it just works,” says Terzian.

Rees says polymer clay always surprises him with its beautiful colors and flexibility in application.”I’ve been sculpting for 20 years and am still exploring the possibilities of this unusual sculpting material,” he says.

“In painting and sculpting, I am both discovering something about myself, how I perceive and express those perceptions, and something about the individual, what the person in the portrait or the animal represented in the sculpture has revealed to me,” says Rees.

Paul Rhymer worked as a taxidermist and model-maker at the Smithsonian Institute for over 25 years. His training in wildlife anatomy and behavior inspires and informs his sculpture.

“We chose to represent Paul for one simple reason—he’s really good,” says gallery owner and resident artist Allen Lund, who fulfilled a childhood dream in 2015 when he opened Lunds Fine Art on historic Main Street. “I love the fact that when he works you can see his movement in the clay, which comes out in the bronze. You can see how he moves the clay with his fi ngers. “He leaves it so impressionistic.”

Rhymer’s work has been exhibited in shows at the National Zoo, National Museum of Natural History, the Denver Zoo, and in private collections thought the country.

A Utah native, Bryce Pettit grew up surrounded and captivated by nature and the outdoors.

Trained as both an artist and biologist, he uses strong lines to express his feelings about the natural world. “Bryce likes to sculpt pretty loose,” says gallery owner Adam Warner. “He’s spot on with anatomy but likes to really show texture. That gives the work a really good feel.”

“I feel very lucky to be able to follow my passion,” says Pettit, who chose to focus on wildlife because of the wide diversity of forms available to him. “It’s such a wonderful field to be able to express any emotion. It’s a rich language of visual expression.” The gifted sculptor has evolved from a very realistic style to one that’s more impressionistic and expressive. “Realism sometimes kills the flow,” he explains.

Stacy Phillips keeps an open mind when creating her exquisite sculptures, always willing to experiment with new materials and concepts. “I am fascinated by and addicted to the process of making art,” she says.

Trove Gallery represents Phillips and many other talented people, with an emphasis on Utah artists. The gallery strives to stay current and maintain an environment that is comfortable and inviting to all.

“To be submersed from the beginning of an idea through the course of execution is the state of the creative process that I wish to reside,” says Phillips. “I strive to challenge myself and always maintain my passion for the work during the journey.”