Local exhibit displays lifetime of work

by Lisa Collacott special to Tribune
Posted

Nearly a lifetime of Richard Pankratz’ work will be on display for the community to admire during an upcoming art exhibit at the Tri-Lakes Center for the Arts.

The Richard Pankratz 70th Birthday Retrospective Show will take place Sept. 3-28 in the main gallery. Pankratz is well known in the community and over the years has created sculptures, furniture, fountains and vessels and has given back to the community in which he calls home by organizing the very first Empty Bowl Dinner in Monument along with his wife Linda and local potter Anne Shimek. Pankratz has generously made many of the ceramic bowls for the dinner over the years.

“I consider the show retrospective because it’s about where I started up to this point,” Pankratz said.

“A lot of pieces will fill the main gallery. Over 50 years of artwork and 70 years of life,” added Linda Pankratz.

One of the pieces in the show will be the first bronze sculpture that Pankratz made in 1966.

Pankratz said when he was in fifth grade, he told people he would one day be an artist. He thought that being an artist meant he would be a painter, however. After high school, he attended the Kansas City Art Institute, where he was introduced to other mediums. He later transferred to Emporia Kansas State University.

It was there that he acquired a teaching degree and went on to teach art in Kansas and Colorado.

After 11 years, he decided to leave teaching and fulfill his dream of being an artist. He began selling ceramic pieces in the early 1970s. During the 1990s, Pankratz began phasing out of ceramics into sculptures made of casting bronze. One of his major transition pieces is called “The Explorers” and is displayed in his living room. The sculpture is made of ceramic and bronze.

“It is a pivotal piece,” Pankratz said. “In life you go through things day to day and don’t realize how far you’ve come. That’s the way it was with the transition from pottery to sculptures.”

Pankratz said the days of functional ceramics are gone. His primary focus now is bronze sculptures. His sculptures have been featured in galleries in Arizona, New Mexico, California and South Carolina. They have also been featured at “Sculptures in the Park” in Loveland, an internationally recognized and juried exhibition.

The Richard Pankratz 70th Birthday Retrospective Art Show is a celebration of his work as he has gone from clay to bronze. The show will also feature a few paintings he has done over the years as a hobby. About 25 percent of the pieces in the exhibit will come from the Pankratz’ private collection and the private collection of those who have bought his sculptures. What is not private collection will be available for purchase. Also in the exhibit will be paintings by Colorado artist Karen Scharer.

There will be a free opening reception at the TLCA from 6 to 8 p.m. Sept. 6. For more information visit www.trilakesarts.org.