Black News and News Makers in History: Richard Hunt

African American news from Pasadena - Black News and News Makers in History recognizes Richard Hunt this week in Black history.Richard Hunt, sculptor, is internationally renowned for his modernistic work with blow torch, hammer and metal found in private and public collections including museums in Chicago, Cleveland, New York, Buffalo, Milwaukee and Israel. His work has included his comments on social and political issues.

Richard Hunt was born September 12, 1935 in South Chicago. With his mother an artist, he showed interest in the arts from a young age and was able to attend the Junior School of the Art Institute and the Art Institute of Chicago. While in working occasionally with his father in a barbershop during his youth, he was exposed to social issues and business.

His career began in 1955 while still a student when he began to exhibit his sculpture in as many places as he could think of including art fairs, small galleries, and local art centers. His experimenting with materials and sculpting techniques brought the attention from the modern art community. His sculptures were exhibited in numerous shows, including the 1962 Seattle World's Fair where he was the youngest artist to exhibit.

In 1967, he was commissioned to do a piece his studio could not accommodate, so he worked in a metal fabrication shop with others. He said of this experience, "Outside of the studio, the sculptor's internal dialogue gives way to the dialogue that a sculpture sets up with the environment the sculpture is created for." He considers this piece, Play, the beginning of his career as a public sculptor.

He has more public sculptures than any other artist in the United States. Signature pieces include Jacob's Ladder and Flintock Fantasy. President Lyndon Johnson appointed him as one of the first artists to serve on the governing board of the National Endowment for the Arts. He also served on the Smithsonian Institute board. Among the numerous honors is a lifetime achievement award from the International Sculpture Center presented in 2009.

Compiled from his website.