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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat


    A portrait of an artist

    Art professor Carlton Bradford works with art education senior Jennifer Spegal in the Art building yesterday.
    Art professor Carlton Bradford works with art education senior Jennifer Spegal in the Art building yesterday.

    Editor’s Note: This is a new feature that will regularly appear in GoWild, highlighting a particular artist’s achievements.

    Who: Sculptor Carlton Bradford

    What: Bradford has worked on sculptures around town, as well as two high- profile pieces at the Student Union Memorial Center.

    Bio: A professor in the art department, Bradford has lived all over Arizona as well as in the Bay Area of California. He is currently working on a project to express his love for the Arizona sky.

    Wildcat: What inspires you?

    Bradford: Human-made objects. I like things that are well-made. Lately I’ve been inspired by the sky and the clouds.

    W: What art inspires you?

    B: Good art. I like anything that is well done and purposeful.

    W: What artistic mediums do you work in?

    B: Wood and welded steel.

    W: What is your most recent work?

    B: The last sculpture I completed was a steel trumpet. It was in the faculty show last August-September. I played the trumpet in junior high and high school and college, so it has meaning for me. It was a big part of my life. It’s very heavy and the bell is solid. The parts work, but you can’t blow into it.

    W: When did you start making art?

    B: I graduated from high school in 1975. I took one art class in high school. I drew for the school paper. Back then, we used to take the ACT test to get into college. And part of that was a career suggested path. You answer this questionnaire and it tells you what area you should go into. And it told me I should be a sculptor, which was funny because I’d never done sculpture. That was about 25, 26 years ago.

    W: What piece of work are you most proud of?

    B: I made a violin; the body was four feet tall and stood on the floor. It looked like a real violin. I think that was probably one of the most successful pieces I ever made in terms of idea and execution.

    W: Do you ever collaborate with other artists?

    B: I have fabricated for other artists; made things. Like, the two pieces that are at the student union. The big “”A”” frame with the wings on it and the U.S.S. Arizona memorial. I’ve made a lot of those parts as a job. I didn’t design them, I just fabricated them. But I’ve never really worked as an artist with another artist. I think I prefer just being alone in my studio.

    W: What do you think of Tucson?

    B: I love it here. I love feeling like I’m part of the community. I like the size of it. I’ve spent a good part of my life in Phoenix area. Phoenix is just too big, and it doesn’t have much to offer. And I think Tucson is about the right size, although we’re getting too big and we’re not solving some problems.

    W: What’s next for you?

    B: I’m going to be working with using wood and trying to figure out what it is that I like about the sky here and the clouds. I’ve always worked from a pretty set idea. I’ve conceived the idea, what it would look like and the materials, and then I’ve gone about executing that. And I’d like to see if I can take my skills and my years of experience and work more spontaneously.

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