Creative Arts Center of Dallas (CAC) will present an exhibition of 19 contemporary sculptures from sculptor Rob Pollock, a long-time student at CAC, who studied under the school’s founder Octavio Medellin. From Nine to Ninety: A Retrospective of the Sculpture of Robert Pollock will be presented in collaboration with the Moody Performance Hall and opens April 2 in celebration of Dallas Arts Month. The exhibit will be on view through June 17 and there will be a special artist reception on Sunday, June 3 from 3pm to 5pm in honor of the 90-year-old, self-taught sculptor.
According to Diana Pollak, Executive Director of the Creative Arts Center, the exhibit will celebrate the life work of Rob Pollock, who has also donated his collection to CAC. “We wanted to launch this show during Dallas Arts Month, which was started by Mayor Mike Rawlings as Dallas Arts Week in 2013, because it was Mayor Rawlings who dubbed CAC, “a place for the citizen artist” when he came to tour the Center several years ago,” she said. “I can’t think of anyone more deserving of the title as a citizen artist than Rob Pollock.”
After graduation from high school in 1945, he attended SMU for one semester, taking a class in clay sculpturing from Stella Lamond. He entered Harvard College in the spring, graduating in 1949. Upon returning to Dallas, he attended classes on Saturdays at the Dallas Museum of Art, taught by Octavio Medellin working first in clay, then wood and stone. After the DMA closed its school, he started taking jewelry-making at the Craft Guild of Dallas, primarily casting gold jewelry.
Upon returning to Dallas after two years in the Navy in 1953, he took up sculpture again at the Creative Arts Center where he has studied ever since under several artists, including Jewel Cline, David Hickman and Art Wells until his retirement from sculpting last year. It was at CAC that he hand-carved his first piece of Italian marble – a piece he obtained from a pile of marble remnants by a local landscape architect. In addition to sculpting at CAC, he spent a month each summer in Pietrasanta, Italy, for the next 20 years. His last visit to his beloved Pietrasanta was in 2011.
David Hickman, who also studied under Medellin, says that Pollock was tremendously influenced by Medellin’s focus on primitive modernism. “Most of Rob’s stone sculpture is done in white Carrara marble and comes from the same quarries near Pietrasanta where Michelangelo obtained his marble,” says Hickman. “Rob does not just carve the marble, he honors it by leaving small sections either untouched or carved so that natural stone contrasts with the polished portions in an organic way like an ammonite fossil.”
The pieces will be for sale once the exhibition ends. Says Diana Pollak, “Four pieces have already sold through word of mouth alone raising significant funds for CAC. Our partnership with the Moody Performance Hall and the Office of Cultural Affairs to showcase this collection will bring a much wider audience to view Rob’s work.”
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