Arcosanti staff and workshop participants visited the studio and sculpture garden of world famous sculptor John Waddell in Cornville, AZ. Mr. Waddell gave an extensive tour of the grounds and explained his technique and inspiration, talked about his life and experiences. Arcosanti staff and workshop participants visited the studio and sculpture garden of world famous sculptor John Waddell in Cornville, AZ. Mr. Waddell gave an extensive tour of the grounds and explained his technique and inspiration, talked about his life and experiences.
The purpose of the visit was to transport one of the sculptures to Arcosanti for display in the Colly Soleri Memorial Garden infront of the Vaults.
It took finesse and coordination to move this extremely heavy piece into a truck at the studio, then from the truck through the Vaults, down a ramp, into its present location in the Colly Garden.
The Sculpture is called THREE FRIENDS, or TRILOGY, a Bronze group on a single base • 87″ x 52″ x 26″ (221cm x 132cm x 66cm) • It is for sale at $350,000.
Cosanti Foundation Board of Directors member Michel Sarda organized a picnic with a formal dedication ceremony, that included a traditional Navajo blessing of the sculpture and participants.
John Waddell (b.1921) was raised in the Midwest and studied at the Art Institute of Chicago and had his first solo show in Peoria, Illinois at age 21.
He was in the military and the G.I. Bill financed the remainder of his formal education, which was two M.F.A.’s in Fine Arts and Art Education.
He and his wife, Ruth, a close partner in his professional as well as his personal life, moved to Arizona in 1957. Here he headed the art education department at Arizona State University (then Arizona State College) for several years. During this time Waddell made sculpture his primary art form.
The 1963 church bombing in Birmingham, Alabama, in which four young girls died, became a pivotal event in his development as an artist. The monument he created in response to that tragedy, That Which Might Have Been, Birmingham, 1963, resides in the garden he designed for it at the Unitarian Universalist Church on Lincoln Drive in Phoenix.
His sculptures are exhibited in many places in Phoenix, including Civic Plaza and the Phoenix Art Museum. The Waddells have lived in the Verde Valley since 1970 and make frequent visits to Grand Canyon, where they sketch and paint.