Emerging Artists | Jim Budish, David Franklin & Sharon Fullingim


By Bonnie Gangelhoff & Alice Hernin

Jim Budish

Last year was a very good year for Colorado sculptor Jim Budish—he racked up more than 10 Best of Show awards from competitions across the country. But one of the most exciting honors for him was the selection of Chauncey, his monumental bronze rabbit, for installation in Loveland’s Benson Park. “He’s a 62-inch-tall rabbit with attitude,” Budish says proudly. The sculptor brings a whimsical style to his string-bean creatures (humans, horses, dogs, cats, moose, bears, and ducks). And they often provoke a smile from the viewer. That’s fine with Budish. “Through my art, I attempt to expose the joie de vivre that I believe is lurking somewhere inside all of us,” he says. “My minimalist approach and economy of line are my attempts to capture the pure essence of my subject’s spirit, personality, emotion, and attitude.” Budish plans to participate in a number of festivals and gallery shows this year including next month’s Sculpture in the Park in Loveland, CO.

He is represented by Gallery East, Loveland, CO; Dearborn Rieder Gallery, Boulder, CO; Zantman Gallery, Sun Valley, ID; Waters Edge Gallery, Rancho Mirage, CA; La Quinta Resort Gallery, La Quinta, CA; and Wilde-Meyer Gallery, Scottsdale and Tucson, AZ.


David Franklin

When David Franklin moved to Seattle, WA, more than a decade ago, he discovered Northwest Coast art. At the time he was planning to pursue a career as an airplane mechanic. But the images—the ravens, owls, and whales—portrayed in Native American art forms kept grabbing his attention. In his spare time he began fashioning wood creations with an Exacto knife and selling his renderings to curio shops and galleries. On one occasion, a gallery owner told him about the work of Duane Pascoe, a well-known Northwest Coast artist. Franklin contacted Pascoe and showed his work. The rest is history or his good fortune, as the artist says. For the past 10 years Franklin has worked as an apprentice to Pascoe, helping him create and install 10-foot-tall and larger totem poles for residences and commercial properties across the country. But these days Franklin, 30, is also focusing on his own artworks, creating totem poles, masks, rattles, paintings, and panels with Northwest Coast symbols.

The advanced graphic design of Northwest Coast art continues to intrigue and amaze him with its complexity and beauty. Franklin says, “I just want to be able to continue this way and spend the rest of my life making artwork.”

Franklin is represented by Stonington Gallery, Seattle, WA.


Sharon Fullingim

It’s no surprise that birds are some of Sharon Fullingim’s favorite subjects. The artist lives in a small town along the Rio Grande valley in New Mexico, a place that is a crossroads for migratory birds on their way to and from Mexico and South America. Living in a location that’s a popular avian watering hole suits the artist perfectly. “I like to sculpt things that I can see, that I’m familiar with,” she says. In addition to birds of all kinds, pronghorn antelopes—another animal common to the area—also commonly star in her work.

Primarily self-taught, Fullingim started working with her hands as a child. As an adult, she started painting watercolors, then switched to intaglio etchings. In 1997, she was commissioned to do a bronze for New Mexico Tech, and while working on the project she rediscovered her love for the art form. “I thought, ‘holy cow, I’m finally doing what I want to do,’” she says. Wildlife is not her only subject—she also enjoys sculpting the figure, especially Native Americans. She has also started working in stone, traveling to Indiana annually to attend limestone carving symposiums. “I’ll work in clay here, then go spend a couple of weeks in Indiana playing with stone,” she says. “I just get happy thinking about it.”

Fullingim is represented by Patrician Design, Albuquerque, NM, and Fullingim-Isenhour-Leard Galleries, Socorro, NM.

Featured in July 2003