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

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

The Colonel John W. Thomason, Jr. Award

Triangle, VA – Our military is not generally seen as being a proponent of the arts, but the 35 year-old Marine Corps Heritage Foundation recognizes it as a powerful way to preserve and promote Marine Corps history. This year, the foundation hosted over 400 ranking officials and special guests at its annual awards recognizing artworks that embody this goal. One of the highlights of the night was the presentation of the Colonel John W. Thomason, Jr. Award to professional artist Mardie Rees for her sculpture 'Soul of the Forward and Faithful.' The award is given each year to an individual artist for a distinguished work depicting some aspect of Marine Corps life. The nod also marks the third award Rees’ Marine sculpture has garnered.

"It is such an honor to be recognized for something that I created," says Rees. "The truth is that this artwork is for the Marines. It's a way of remembering the sacrifices of our fathers and grandfathers who fought in World War II."

The sculpture honors the legacy of America’s first elite fighting force and was commissioned by the U.S. Marine Raider Foundation. Rees spent two years depicting a Browning Automatic Rifleman, a War Dog Handler with his German Shepherd and a Navajo Code Talker. Including its terrain and jungle backdrop, the bronze artwork measures about 4 feet by 3 feet. After completion, it was exhibited to crowds at the Tacoma Art Museum, then the San Diego Air and Space Museum in California. 

In December 2014, the sculpture was ceremoniously entrusted for life to the National Museum of the Marine Corps in Triangle, Va. However, recent expansion plans saw the sculpture move to a perhaps more fitting location: the Pentagon. It now resides inside the office of the Commandant of the Marine Corps, Gen. Robert Neller. After her award presentation, Rees had a chance to meet the man who took personal interest in her artwork.

"It was fulfilling to share with the General details about my work,” says Rees."I told him that two of the models that posed were Marine veterans, both having served two tours in Iraq, and the Code Talker model was full-blooded Navajo.”

Rees reflects now on the impact that the sculpture has had on her new friends in the Marine Corps, and looks forward to the next opportunity.

“Figure sculpture truly is a universal language,” she says. “When we experience it, we can identify with it. It touches our souls.”

-Photo credit Staff Sgt Gabriela Garcia

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.