Cathedral Springs Great Blue Heron by Ron Chapel
Total height – 82 “
Bird length – 34”
Bronze base height to bird – 56”
Material – Bronze – White -Ochre & grey patina & high polish
Chapel was born in 1948 in Glenwood Springs, Colorado, and raised in Grand Junction. He attended Mesa College on an art scholarship. He then continued his education in metal smithing (specializing in jewelry) at Colorado State University.
At the age of 22, he moved to Denver where his jewelry-making flourished. Then Chapel’s creations quickly grew into full-fledged sculptures. Through the support of a sponsor, he created a series of 40 cast bronze sculptures. These were exhibited in a one-man show at the Saks Gallery in Denver; the beginning of many successful shows in Chapel’s career. Above all he had the desire to learn more about his craft, he took a slight tangent in his path and became Vice President of Quest Foundry, Inc. This three-year immersion in the craft of sculpture, combined with over 35 representational commissions from the Franklin Mint, resulted in Chapel’s distinctive style today.
In December 1984, Chapel was invited to lecture on his sculpture and casting techniques at universities in three cities in the People’s Republic of China. At this time in history this was an unheard of opportunity. Consequently it was not possible to obtain a visa for China in the United States. Chapel had to travel to Hong Kong to apply for a visa there. He has subsequently participated in several multi-city museum tours sponsored by the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum.
In May 1987, Chapel received a commission to do a life size sculpture for the Loveland Civic Center Plaza. Twist of Fate is a sixteen-foot high bronze, stainless steel, and concrete sculpture that summarizes the human life cycle. The sculpture was installed in August, 1988.
In 1990 Chapel married Vanessa Kelly and they moved to the Chesapeake Bay to begin training for a world-wide sailing adventure. Inherent in this move was also the opportunity to further study and interpret the people and wildlife living at the edge of land and sea.