By Bonnie Gangelhoff
When James G. Moore was growing up, he enjoyed making noise and creating a general racket around the house, until his parents finally begged for mercy. Later, as an adult and while on assignments for the navy in far-flung locales such as China, Thailand, and Japan, he began collecting musical instruments native to those countries. “I have always been fascinated with sound,” the Colorado-based artist says of his ongoing passion.
Today Moore carries on his love affair with sound through his signature bell sculptures, which are beautiful, functional, and musical. Once a ceramist who favored wildlife and figures, the Colorado sculptor says he experienced an epiphany in 1994 when he made his first bronze bell and displayed it at the annual Loveland Sculpture Invitational in Loveland, CO. “I saw how people were attracted to it,” he says. “And I started thinking about how bells are something found in all cultures, whether they are ringing to gather together people for worship, school, celebrations, or to warn them about danger.”
This year’s Governor’s Invitational Art Show features Moore’s sculpture BOUNTIFUL RIVER, which is typical of his current works. According to the sculptor, the piece was inspired by Stephen E. Ambrose’s book Undaunted Courage, which chronicles the Lewis and Clark expedition. Throughout the journey, Lewis and Clark had many dangerous encounters with grizzly bears, Moore says. And as they approached the West Coast, salmon became a critical part of their diet. “Reading the story inspired me to make something based on grizzly bears and salmon. The piece is about the cycles of life and how everything seems tied together,” Moore says. “The salmon run, spawn, and die, and their journey results in an abundance of food for virtually every living thing that utilizes the river. It comes at a time of year that prepares all those creatures for reproduction and survival through the winter. And then the cycle starts over.”
Moore is represented by Howard/Mandville Gallery, Kirkland, WA; Scottsdale Fine Art, Scottsdale, AZ; K. Newby Gallery, Tubac, AZ; McLarry Fine Art, Santa Fe, NM; SmithKlein Gallery, Boulder, CO; Turpin Gallery, Jackson, WY; Vail International Gallery, Vail, CO; Jon Crane Gallery, Hill City, SD; Vickers Collection, Aspen, CO; and Bronze Fine Art Gallery, Loveland, CO; www.sculpturebyjgmoore.com.
Featured in April 2012.