SIERRA VISTA— Selected for his innovative use of local plants in bronze sculptures, Bob Wick, from Bisbee, has been named a “Master of the Southwest” by Phoenix Home & Garden magazine.
Bisbee artist Bob Wick is featured in the March issue of Phoenix Home and Garden magazine. (Submitted photo)
“We were really taken by his genius in incorporating plants in theses massive bronze sculptures,” said Linda J. Barkman, editor of the magazine. “His work is amazing.”
They always look for people with work that has strong regional relevance, while also demonstrating that they are among the best of the best in their field, Barkman said. Each year they honor six people from the Southwest who do work in a variety of fields including architecture, landscaping and fine art.
“I’m just so grateful that finally, at this time in his life, that he is getting some kind of recognition and appreciation for the work he does,” said Estellean Wick, Bob Wick’s wife. It’s been a lifelong process and his work is an inherent part of who he is.
She’s thrilled that Bob Wick will also be on “In Focus,” a PBS program hosted by Martin Sheen, she said.
Bob Wick has been working on sculpture for more than 50 years and feels honored to receive the recognition, he said. “I truly appreciate it.”
The idea to combine bronze sculptures with living plants occurred to him spontaneously many years ago when he was working on a series of six masks, Bob Wick said. Each new mask became more abstract than its predecessor and a split started to form in the skull.
For some reason he picked up a piece of ivy and fitted it so it was growing out of that split, creating a symbol of creativity growing out of the mind, he said. When he got to the last mask the split had expanded through the whole face, leaving space for an entire plant.
“From that point on I really could not make a sculpture without living plants or trees,” Bob Wick said. It fits with his view of the world, offering a visual metaphor of life on this planet and mankind’s relationship to it.
The bronze represents a symbol of man and the plants symbolize nature, he said. His work unites them as one, which reflects his belief that we are one with the Earth.
Bob Wick’s sculptures are usually abstract, featuring characteristics of an object, animal or person but expressing something else too.
He recalled a line from Lao Tzu, “The form of a thing is not necessarily it’s shape.”
Everyone can see the shape of something but an artist tries to look beyond that and find a way to express its form, Bob Wick said. His work reflects physical characteristics of his subject but also strives to capture its character, poetry, or magic that truly makes it unique.
The March issue of the Phoenix Home & Garden magazine is currently available in print and will soon be up online as well, www.phgmag.com .
EDITOR’S NOTE: Bob Wick, along with his brother Walt, are owners of Wick Communications the parent company of the Douglas Dispatch.