New Member ~ New Medium
Jan van Ek Brings Bronze to Art Presence
Art Presence extends a warm welcome to our newest member, sculptor Jan van Ek, and a new medium—bronze sculpture. If you haven’t yet seen Jan’s stunning bronze sculptures, come in to the gallery for a real treat in fine art! Art Presence Art Center was honored to admit this talented artist as a member in early 2018.
Jan van Ek grew up in Medford, Oregon. Her love of horses naturally expressed itself as her artistic gifts flourished at an early age. Her incessant drawing of horses and studying the anatomy of her first horse in high school led to the study of Fine Art at Oregon State University. There a sculpture professor who specialized in bronze casting inspired her to apply her talent to three dimensional work. Jan was immediately committed to the full-time pursuit of sculpting horses. Her approach was always to depict the equine as a creature of romance, power and freedom. This is why Jan’s horses are rarely sculpted with humans in the composition, and never sculpted with tack of any kind to interrupt the flow of the magnificent forms of the horse in motion.
After graduating with a BFA in Sculpture, Jan moved to Denver and, to perfect her technical skills and control the production of her work, she began work at a bronze casting foundry. In her years at the foundry she gained expertise in all the steps required in the intricate process of bringing a sculpted clay form to life in bronze. This included full production work in rubber mold making, wax pouring and chasing, ceramic shell mold construction, bronze welding and chasing, and patination.
After 22 years of working in Denver and establishing herself as a nationally recognized equine sculptor, she returned to Oregon in 2004 to build her dream studio near her childhood home, to own and train horses, and to spend more time with her family, which includes her husband, NSS sculptor Jay Warren , her son Max, and her five older brothers.
Here she raises Beauty (her favorite model), a glorious white Arabian mare from the bloodline of Raffles, and Kindle, a miniature mare who was born to trot.
Jan won Best in Show at the Western States Horse Expo in Sacramento, California with her monumental sculpture Sirocco. She has recently completed a private commission for an estate near Miami which consists of two life-size horses, a Friesian stallion and an Arabian mare, in full flight. The second of the edition of three of this piece, entitled Beauty & the Beast, has now been cast for a private collection in Colorado. In 2008 the American Academy of Equine Art awarded Jan their most prestigious award, The Founders’ Award, for excellence in sculpture.
In the Art Presence gallery you can see “Lightning, Thunder, Rain”—from a limited edition of seven pieces—a sculpture of three spirited horses running atop carved marble thunderclouds with a bronze base in the form of lightning.
While most of Jan’s pieces are free standing, others can hang on a wall. In addition to sculpting horses, she enjoys creating statues and sculptures of angels. Be sure to seek out Jan’s work the next time you visit Art Presence!