Sky Touching Earth – (Gyrfalcon)
Alabaster base – 10” x 15” x 5”
Bronze 27” tall
bird 21” x 12”
Material – patina’d bronze – Tan 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, 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, and Chapel’s creations quickly grew into full-fledged sculptures. Through the support of a sponsor, he created a series of 40 cast bronze sculptures, which were exhibited in a one-man show at the Saks Gallery in Denver; the beginning of many successful shows in Chapel’s career. With 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, as 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, one of which went to Beijing, China.
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.
After two years on the Chesapeake, the two of them decided they were more at home in the West. In July, 1992 they were offered the opportunity to live on a 330 acre ranch in Northern California, so they packed up and moved back across the entire country. Chapel moved away from birds and figures for awhile, and created several major animal sculptures combining bronze and stainless steel. In the summer of 1995 they moved to the San Francisco Bay area to enable Vanessa to complete her Doctoral degree. In September of 1996 Harvest Moon, a sculpture of two life-sized Timber Wolves, was installed at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum. In 1998 The Nest, a seventeen foot sculpture of an eagle’s nest coalescing out of thin air, was commissioned by the town of Breckenridge, Colorado, and installed in June of 2000.
Vanessa became an Assistant Clinical Professor in the Department of Psychiatry in 1998, at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) School of Medicine. Shortly after that they moved aboard Two Shadows, a forty-six foot Morgan ketch rigged sailboat.
In 2013 Chapel and Vanessa set sail from San Francisco for Mexico and perhaps West from there. However after 2 years cruising the Pacific coast of Mexico, and the Sea of Cortez, they took a vacation to the inland mountains. Falling in love with the city of Guanajuato, they purchased a large home with gardens, a pool, and a new studio. After 2 years of refurbishing the property, they are permanent residents and Chapel is returning to sculpture.