BRISTOL, Va. - Virginia Intermont professor of art Dr. Marvin Tadlock entered his sculpture, Altered, into the 27th Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition at Appalachian State University in Boone, N.C. Altered received first place out of 72 sculptures. Much of the VI community will recognize Altered from its usual place in front of the Fine Arts building on campus.
The Rosen Outdoor Sculpture Competition and Exhibition is a national juried competition presented by the Turchin Center for the Visual Arts at Appalachian State every year. The competition showcases large-scale, contemporary American sculpture. This year, 10 finalists were chosen from 36 artists, and Tadlock's sculpture was awarded first place. The juror was Terry Suhre, director of Gallery 210 in St. Louis, Mo.
Altered is a 7-foot tall sculpture weighing nearly 300 pounds, and depicts a semi-automatic handgun with a twisted, offset and thereby, totally dysfunctional barrel. Tadlock said that the piece was made early this year in his Virginia Intermont studio, taking nearly a month, using scrap and locally donated steel. The large "gun" is pointing directly at the ground, rather than proudly out into the populace, as do most guns in war memorials across our country. In this sculpture the artist is making commentary on the recent onslaught of gun violence, especially here in America. Tadlock, at one time an Army officer in both Artillery and Infantry, said, "Hopefully this sculpture will initiate thinking and bring about discourse among its viewers."
Tadlock's artist statement for the competition reads: Creating sculpture is my passion. As a professor of art at Virginia Intermont College, I have made my living for four decades teaching, making art, and helping others to discover, enjoy and make art. My heroes are David Smith, Edward Kienholz, Claes Oldenburg and Lewis Grizzard. My preferences are rusty steel over bronze or marble, tee shirts and Jeans over suits, Tuesdays over Sundays, and, show me rather than tell me. I love dogs, nature, storms, humor, passion for a cause and fire. I prefer contemporary art above art from the past, peace above war, and religion with room for human frailty.
Tadlock has been a member of the VI Art Department since 1972, and the Chair since 2008. He earned his Bachelor of Fine Art and Master of Fine Art degrees In Sculpture at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro, N.C. He later earned his Doctor of Education degree at The University of Georgia, Athens. His sculptures are in numerous indoor and outdoor collections across the Southeast, and he has won four national awards, including three best of show awards, for his large sculptures in the last four years.