How can you take a sculpture with you when you go swimming?

La Dolce

La Dolce Vita

Usually people do not utter “bronze sculpture” and “swimming pool” in the same breath. But for two Arizona collectors the novel combination makes perfect sense: they have placed La Dolce Vita and La Serenade poolside to create an outdoor Mediterranean living space.

Poolside Art

Meet the Lona Lee and Ed Thull, husband-and-wife collectors in Arizona. The Thulls live in a Tuscan-inspired home nestled at the base of the Superstition Mountains near Phoenix. Like many Arizonians, the couple swims daily and considers their pool area to be an extension of their home’s inside living area.

“When I saw Craig’s Italian-inspired pieces, I fell in love with them. I knew they would look fantastic positioned outdoors where we could enjoy seeing them from so many areas of our home,” said Lona Lee.

La Serenade

La Serenade

Outdoor Sculpture Care

The Thulls care for their outdoor sculpture in exactly the right way: they avoid splashing with chlorinated water and give the pieces a quick monthly waxing to shield them from the Arizona sunshine.

Buying Inspiration

You may be surprised to hear that the Thulls did not choose La Serenade and La Dolce Vita to fulfill an interior design goal.

“We don’t buy to decorate,” Lona Lee says. “Our home is filled with family mementos and art that we truly love. I bought these pieces because of the emotions I felt when I first saw them.”

Did you enjoy seeing how the Thulls displayed their sculpture? If you would like to share photos of your collection, please contact my Studio Director, Amy. I would love to do a profile of you.

Presenting “Memorare, Sand Creek 1864”

Memorare, Sand Creek 1864 (24" tall x 21" x 21")

Memorare, Sand Creek 1864 (24" tall x 21" x 21")

The cost of the expansion of the American West was frequently paid in sacrifice and lost lives. Yet most of us scarcely know of these battles today. One such battle, now known as the Sand Creek Massacre, occurred 145 years ago this year.

On November 29, 1864, 700 American soldiers killed and mutilated 400 Cheyenne and Arapaho men, women, and children at their encampment in eastern Colorado. The unarmed inhabitants of the camp had no chance to escape.

I wanted to memorialize this event since learning of it decades ago and insisted that the piece to be a poignant reminder without sensationalism. I mulled this composition for years before finally finding my motivation in Michelangelo’s Piet . The resulting work depicts a Native American man bearing his wife’s lifeless body as he clutches two arrows and a fragment of an American flag.

This piece was featured in the November issue of Western Art Collector magazine to coincide with the 145th anniversary of this tragic chapter in American history.

I am also pleased to announce that Memorare will be placed in the collection of the Booth Western Art Museum. Please join me for the museum’s unveiling of Memorare on January 21, 2010, which will also include an screening of The Sand Creek Massacre Documentary Short by noted filmmaker Don Vasicek. I’m honored to have Memorare associated with such a fine institution.

If you would like to read more about Sand Creek, you are welcome to read excerpts from my research journal. You may also visit the Sand Creek National Monument website.