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Big Rock Garden, Bellingham, WA, USA

Michelle and I visited Big Rock Garden in Bellingham, WA, USA to see the “Tribute to David Marshall” exhibition. The exhibition is sponsored by Sculpture Northwest and the Sculptor’s Society of British Columbia.

Big Rock Garden is owned by the City of Bellingham and open to the public and features a permanent collection of sculpture displayed in a beautiful west coast setting of dense evergreen trees. There is also an ongoing exhibition of sculptures that are for sale. From May to October 2013, there is a special exhibition of sculpture by artists from USA, Canada and Mexico who are paying tribute to David Marshall. Marshall was a Canadian artist, who lived and worked in Vancouver, BC, Canada. He passed away in 2006, but he was one of the founders of the sculpture exhibits at the Park and an avid supporter of it as a venue for showing sculpture by Canadian artists.

I met Marshall in the early 1980’s, when he was an instructor of sculpture at Capilano University. He struggled all his life to become a professional artist, but seemed to always have to rely on teaching to pay the bills. Our one and only meeting was he mistaking me for a thief! I was loading marble blocks I had purchased from one of Marshall’s students when he confronted me. I explained that the blocks were mine and that I was moving them to my studio. When he discovered who I was, he really lost his cool. I think he hated the fact that I was able to make a living from my art and he wasn’t.

However, the director of Big Rock Garden invited me to show Topography #1 and #2 at the exhibition, and I accepted. All of us in the exhibit have a shared interest in art, sculpture and its importance in culture and everyday life. Even though I never had a relationship with Marshall, I respect his tenacity and love for the art form.

If you get a chance, do visit Big Rock Garden.

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