California Art Club, 106th Annual Gold Medal Exhibition

Mardie Rees' bronze sculpture, "A Few of My Favorite Things," was selected to be a part of this year's California Art Club Gold Medal Exhibition held at the Autry Museum of the American West. The exhibition is full of museum quality works created by leading artists in California and out of state artists operating in the top in their fields: painting, drawing, and sculpture. 

Mardie is honored to be a part of this esteemed exhibition. "A Few of My Favorite Things" was inspired by watching her children play on a hot summer day. Reminded of the life lessons learned in playing with siblings and the give and take required, she examines the complex nature of these fundamental relationships. The faces of the young pair are caught somewhere between feelings. The purposeful ambiguity of their expressions beckons you make your own judgement on what is taking place. Is it about a girl tired of pulling her demanding brother around all day? Is it a sweet boy content to remain riding, or anxious to quit being treated like a doll? The possibilities keep your mind guessing while the dynamic composition keeps your eye in perpetual movement.

 My kids, Jasmine and Adam, taking a closer look at the finished bronze sculpture. 

My kids, Jasmine and Adam, taking a closer look at the finished bronze sculpture. 

 Mardie working on some final details on the bronze while looking at the original clay head.

Mardie working on some final details on the bronze while looking at the original clay head.

 Mardie holding the wax cast of the girl while cleaning up imperfections in the wax as part of the process in bronze casting. 

Mardie holding the wax cast of the girl while cleaning up imperfections in the wax as part of the process in bronze casting. 

 

"A Few of My Favorite Things"
Bronze, 11 x 25 x 5" 

Exhibition Dates: April 9 - 30, 2017

Location: 
Autry Museum of the American West
4700 Western Heritage Way, Los Angeles, CA 90027

The Unexpected at 'The Early Years' Opening

The night was magical and the weather perfect for a grand evening with our friends and art enthusiasts at the Harbor History Museum. Folks turned out in numbers to stand in front of Mardie Rees’ sculptures themed on the ‘Early Years’ of our lives. We enjoyed a glass of wine and talked until sundown of the joys, trials, and tribulations of parenting.

We also listened intently as Mardie spoke of her inspiration, and of her ever-present attempts to balance her work and life as a mother. As we listened, something happened we weren’t expecting. Here’s what she said:

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"This show, ‘The Early Years’, is personal… but it’s not just personal to me. Like any showing of art – it’s personal to you. You personally have experiences and memories that can stir up a dose of nostalgia. Here now you have a chance to stand in front of an object of art and hold on to one of those memories. But before you do that I am going to give you a lens. So everyone close your eyes for a moment..."

"...Picture yourself drifting back in time. Images of your recent past go floating by as you turn back the pages of your life that led to this very spot. You pass through pages of happiness that have been recalled so much they are dog-eared. You pass through pages of sorrows - pages that contain pain but are framed with gratitude that you survived and are wiser for it. The pages speed up as you realize just how many pages that you have in this book and how many of them you have forgotten about. Now the pages begin to slow. They are turning one at a time, revealing images of what it was like in your childhood. Tree-forts and pirate ships, bathing suits and ice cream cones, tea parties and dress-up clothes. You remember the nervousness of your first sleepover and the thrill of running down that grassy hill at breakneck speed. These pages are yours to keep, and the more that you stir these memories and let them rest on your heart for a moment or two, the more at peace you’ll feel about life in the here and now."

I don't know about you, but for me hearing those words was like drinking a cool glass of water. For a moment I was transported to a time where I didn't have a smartphone in my pocket, I had a cool-looking shell that I plucked off the beach; a time where I wasn't paying bills - I was paying attention to the little girl that lived across the street. As I get older, I find that I could use more moments like those in my life, and I bet you a drippy ice cream cone that you agree.

300 to attend Saint Anthony statue unveiling

Larger than life bronze statue will greet visitors of the St. Anthony North Health Campus in Westminster

 Westminster, Colo. – December 7, 2015 – Approximately 300 employees of the St. Anthony North Health Campus will celebrate the unveiling of a larger-than-life bronze statue of Saint Anthony this Friday, December 11.  Designed and sculpted by national award-winning artist Mardie Rees, the statue was created using the “lost-wax” technique which dates back more than 5,000 years.  

 Saint Anthony is traditionally portrayed in paintings and sculpture as holding the baby Jesus.  Rees brought a new interpretation to this tradition by representing Jesus not as an infant but as a toddler, who is holding hands and taking steps in front of the Saint. Jesus as a child leading the patron saint of healing will greet everyone who enters the campus doors, which opened in March 2015.

In building the statue, Rees employed old-world techniques, using live models and hand-made wooden tools to shape the statue in clay. A live model representing Saint Anthony posed for more than 40 hours. A toddler, with the help of his mother and another friend, represented the Christ child.

Rees cast the piece in bronze using the time-honored lost-wax technique – where molten metal is poured into a ceramic shell that once was occupied by wax. The statue was cast locally at Art Castings of Colorado in Loveland. The 450-pound, 81-inch high statue will rest on a granite base that weighs 3,850 pounds.

The project took Rees about two years to complete and she’s excited to share it with the hospitals patients, visitors and staff members.

 “Part of my inspiration came from when my son was a toddler,” said Rees. “It’s such a special time when they are almost ready to walk, but still need that guiding hand for balance. By putting the Christ child on the ground, it makes the statue more interactive and we are able to experience a walk of faith with Saint Anthony’s guiding hand.” 

 “Saint Anthony is the patron Saint of healing,” said Sister Pat Hayden, vice president of mission integration at St. Anthony North Health Campus. “Not only is he the namesake for our health campus, but he epitomizes our mission of health and healing.”

 The statue rests naturally in the lobby atrium, which has the look and feel of a Colorado resort, with natural stone, woods, floor-to-ceiling windows and 25-foot birch groves designed to support a soothing, healing environment. It was funded through donations made to the Saint Anthony Health Foundation.

 Employees will gather in the lobby atrium with Mardie Rees for the statue celebration on Friday, December 11 at 10 am. St. Anthony North Health Campus is located at 144th Avenue and integrates inpatient and outpatient care into the same building - the first campus within the Centura Health system to do that.

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About St. Anthony North Health Campus

The new St. Anthony North Health Campus, which opened on March 3, 2015 provides primary and specialty care, wellness management, a Birthing Center, diagnostics, surgery and 92 inpatient rooms to serve the growing north-metro communities. Continuing a 44-year tradition of serving the north-metro Denver, St. Anthony North Health Campus is sponsored by Catholic Health Initiatives and is part of Centura Health, the region’s leading hospital and health care network delivering advanced care to more than half a million people each year.

 

Postlude: WWII Raider Reunion & Unveiling

Mardie was privileged to attend this year's U.S. Marine Raiders Reunion (August 6th-10th) held near the Marine Corps Recruit Depot (MCRD) in San Diego.  Mardie joined nineteen WWII Raider veterans, other retired and active Marines, family and friends as they shared stories, visited a local U.S. Marine history museum and Naval base, and attended a graduation where 306 young men were officially deemed 'Marines' after completing one of the most rigorous thirteen week courses in the world.

The reunion was concluded with a banquet dinner, with a keynote speech by MarSOC Commander Maj.Gen. Joseph L. Osterman. During his inspiring remarks, Maj.Gen. Osterman read a poignant and timely proclamation by current Commandant of the Marine Corps Gen. James F. Amos. In the proclamation, Cmdt Amos declared that the title 'Raider' is now officially and formally aligned with today's MarSOC Marines; a move that honors those that fought so bravely in WWII, and represents a carrying of the heritage created by those men.

A highlight of the event was the reveal of 'Soul of the Forward and Faithful'. The design and finished bronze maquette was warmly received, and Mardie spent the evening speaking to many excited people about what the sculpture meant to them.