The Centre for Arts & Artists and Iowa Sculpture Festival have been fundraising to acquire resources for CAA resident artist Herman Deaton to create a lifesize bronze sculpture of Herman’s mother, Edna, hanging a towel on the clothesline in the 1930s.
A “Birth of Edna” event, a day when the public will be invited to kick off this project, will be announced in the near future. There will be an open house for community members to come and visit with Herman as he works. Artists’ studios will be open at this time, and immediately following will be a special time for sponsoring patrons to help apply clay to the armature.
For many years, Herman and his brother, Neal, were among the foremost museum diorama artists in the United States. About 20 years ago, Herman began to freelance art through his newly created business, H.L. Deaton Studio. Herman created sculptures for some of the most recognized names in the Industries, such as The Hamilton Group, National Wildlife Federation, Successful Farming and the Smithsonian Institute. Herman’s bas relief mural, “The Landmark,” at the Jasper County Historical Museum is a local testimony to not only his skill and knowledge in history and the arts but to his generosity to his community. More than 1,000 hours were donated on his part to see “The Landmark” completed.
Herman’s “Edna” project will use the assistance of other professional artists who may or may not have ever created a sculpture for the lost wax cast bronze process. As Herman is assisted, a learning process will be provided for those professionals and amateurs alike. The project will be very labor intensive and will be filmed, ultimately being edited to be made available for classrooms of all academic and practical application levels. With the annual all-fifth grade art/sculpture tour in Newton, it can be used as pre- or post-curriculum activity to satisfy and enrich district art requirements. The public will be invited to watch the progress during regular CAA open hours. Area colleges and grade schools will be invited to bring students and faculty for observation and learning opportunities.