The Student News Site of University of Arizona

The Daily Wildcat

75° Tucson, AZ

The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    Portrait of an artist

    Who: Sculptor Sam Hodges

    What: Hodges likes to sculpt people in unique ways, using different cultural and historical techniques to make something completely new. Although she now lives in Mesa, her art is currently on display at Epic Cafe, 745 N. Fourth Ave.

    Bio: Hodges is a native of Tucson who has been sculpting for about 10 years now. She has worked on many different projects, including teaching art classes at a juvenile prison.

    Wildcat: What inspires you?

    Hodges: I love people, and I love finding out about different cultures, and so I research each culture I do a figure of and find out about them and give them a personality. And in my mind they have a name and they don’t really talk to me, but it’s like they talk to me. A lot of times I just take things from my own childhood growing up and I use those ideas.

    W: What art inspires you?

    H: The first artist that ever inspired me was Akio Takamori. He’s a Japanese artist who does figurative pieces. I just loved him from the day I saw his work. He lives up in Washington state. So if you have a pot that’s shaped like a vase, he would go and draw a figure on that vase.

    W: What mediums do you work in?

    H: Primarily clay. I do love mixed media but I don’t do a whole lot of it. I’ve done a few things for – there’s a group called Redressing Injustice. There are all these murdered women in Juarez, Mexico. You buy a dress and you decorate it for all these women who’ve lost their lives.

    W: What makes you a unique artist/gives you a unique voice?

    H: I think the fact that I love people, I love them and I have a pretty good sense of humor. I can take life and find something funny in it or humorous in it and find some anomaly having to do with it, and I go off of that.

    W: What is your most recent work?

    H: I just did all those pieces that are at the Epic Cafe, but I’ve been going back and experimenting with large figures again. I have a series that I want to start working on that will be life-sized busts too.

    W: When did you start making art?

    H: Let’s see, I didn’t touch clay until late ’95. I got a job in Tucson working for an artist and I had never touched clay. One day I just decided to try and do a figure, and it was really successful and I loved it. I was newly divorced and I got into a program at Pima Community College for displaced homemakers. I was planning to go into computers, and I just got into clay and it changed my whole world.

    W: What piece are you most proud of?

    H: I have a piece that I made while I was going to Mesa Community College. It was one of my first pieces with small people. It was not tall and skinny but short and round, but I love that piece because it was the beginning.

    W: Do you collaborate with other artists?

    H: Occasionally, not too often. I just did a couple weeks ago and we did do some collaborative pieces during the workshop. It’s fun. I made a mural at Mesa Community College a few years ago with two other artists. You learn to compromise. It’s a real learning process.

    W: What do you think of Tucson?

    H: I was born and raised there. I had moved back there in ’95. I thought I would live there for the rest of my life, but my dad was ill and in ’98 I had to go home and take care of him. I never found out a way to financially get back to Tucson. I love Tucson. I like it because it has a small-town feel.

    W: What’s next for you?

    H: Hopefully my art picks up and I can get into some galleries. My dream is to be self sufficient with my art. That involves a whole lot of steps. We’re probably going to get a partnership with one of the community colleges here, and things are changing a bit. It’s really good when you can see that things have progressed, and I feel good about it.

    More to Discover
    Activate Search