2008.01.29: January 29, 2008: Headlines: COS - Honduras: Art: Wood Sculpture: Sculpture: Scott McNeill Art: Honduras RPCV Scott McNeill presents SCULPTING WITH LIGHT!

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Honduras: Peace Corps Honduras: Peace Corps Honduras: Newest Stories: 2008.01.29: January 29, 2008: Headlines: COS - Honduras: Art: Wood Sculpture: Sculpture: Scott McNeill Art: Honduras RPCV Scott McNeill presents SCULPTING WITH LIGHT!

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Honduras RPCV Scott McNeill presents SCULPTING WITH LIGHT!

Honduras RPCV Scott McNeill presents SCULPTING WITH LIGHT!

After graduation Scott McNeill joined the Peace Corps and became a Peace Corps Volunteer in Honduras. His job assignment took him to Valle de Angeles, an artisan village that specialized in woodcraft and ornate woodcarving. McNeill lived there as Volunteer for the next 2 years, working as a consultant to the National Association of Honduran Artists (A.N.A.H.). During his term of service, Scott worked closely with hundreds of artisans on many different projects. They accepted him into their workshops, homes, and community as if they had known him his whole life.
When his Peace Corps service ended in September of 1994, McNeill decided not to return to the United States. He was disillusioned about choosing a 'traditional' career path and wanted to pursue dreams of becoming an artist. Shortly thereafter, as if on cue, Scott was invited to apprentice bas-relief wood carving in the workshop of a renowned master wood carver. Scott learned quickly, he began painting his carved pictures, and the town's artisans recognized him for having 'una gracia' (a gift). For the next two years he worked side by side amongst many of the country's most accomplished wood carvers and craftsmen.

Honduras RPCV Scott McNeill presents SCULPTING WITH LIGHT!



The Glow Series: Scott McNeill: Now - Feb 24, 2008.

West Valley Art Museum, 17420 N. Ave of the Arts, Surprise

Daytime: Scott McNeill's carved wall sculptures, cast in resin, show underwater scenes, jungle creatures perched amongst flora and fauna, and other motifs resonating with color and imagery.

Nighttime: The sculpture glow-in-the-dark with luminous color all night long!

McNeill: Continues to create artwork 'outside the box' For more than a decade, this Scottsdale based artist has been combining multiple-dimensions of subject matter and intertwining different layers of composition between ornate relief woodcarvings and colorful painted imagery. In essence, McNeill has been developing a new multidimensional art form! These achievements have not gone unnoticed; he was the inaugural recipient of the Dexter Jones Award, NYC's National Sculpture Society's Award for outstanding bas-relief sculpture. Continually "pushing the envelope", McNeill has developed another unique art form by creating colorful relief wall sculptures that 'glow-in-the-dark' all night long.

Now McNeill adds another dimension-LIGHT!

Those who appreciate unusual talent combined with a unique technique will experience a special visual treat at the West Valley Art Museum. "This is Scott's third solo show with us,” says Museum Curator George Pavlovich. "We're preparing a special showcase for him, complete with black walls, blacklights and a black-out curtain!" The Glow Series encompasses 20 works; including an 18-foot wall encompassing more than 70 images in myriad colors.

Refining a unique process- From his bas-relief wood carvings, McNeill formed molds, then cast the forms in resin. "Instead of painting on the surface, I add bright colored pigments mixed with a special crystal powder into the resin itself." says McNeill.

"As I worked with these new glow powders, called Strontium Aluminate, I was excited by their artistic effects. I began experimenting with this material in the early spring of 2005, and since then I have been doing a lot of exploration."

"My priority was to create these sculptures to look beautiful and completed for the daytime. The fact that they glow all night, makes them twice as cool.... I have to think in terms of the color composition for both day and night, and often apply colors from light to dark, working in reverse of what the final sculpture shows."

"I apply the colors in layers within the resin. Some layers of crystal may be an inch deep overlapping with the colors above to create some interesting light effects."

Jungle Boogie is a complex vertical carving, packed with glowing creatures. Off-white daytime branches glow violet tinged with blue shadows and create a compositional structure for a dense interweaving of green, veined, yellow-tipped leaves and, brilliant tropical flowers- that become perches for monkeys, toucans, parrots, frogs, a jungle cat and other animals. McNeill leads the eye through composition and by subtly having each animal pounce, yell or gesture towards one another.

"I thought of the composition for Jungle Boogie as a DNA strand, or double helixes shaped like figure eights," says Mc Neill.

Mc Neill's symbolism is profound. The Dreamer in the relief titled, "Wake Up And See The Light," incorporates three different realities: underwater, earth and sky. A man asleep in a boat is adrift on a mounding swell of a wave that undulates across the panel. In the distance is a rocky promontory and a lighthouse, but the boat is pointed in the opposite direction. Above the man, two white seagulls fly upwards like heavenly messengers pointing the way. We see the wave in a cross section

-the surface and the depths below which teem with bright schools of fish and coral. In

dreams and myth, large bodies of water and the creatures within often represent the deep unconscious, upon which man rides and must confront before he can soar to a higher reality and rebirth. "This man in the boat is asleep, as in a dream, resting on a huge underworld, seemingly unaware, and going away from the light, a metaphor of modern man.

While Jungle Boogie and Dreamer are directly narrative, McNeill's Fish Wall is a big explosion of color and design. Seventy two different colored panels each with a multi-colored, brightly patterned tropical fish. "I made them to stand in smaller sections or to be combined with others in a wall that could be any length or height," says Mc Neill.

McNeill's elegant sense of color leads from panel to panel and fish to fish through every color variation --yellow-green, blue-green, dusty green, aqua, orange , purple , red, pink, gold, silver-gray, all relating to one another. The colors glow harmoniously at night, and with more than 30 pounds of glow crystal illuminates the entire room.

Enjoying local, national recognition- McNeill's distinctive artwork has been recently seen at the Arizona Youth Museum. Recipient of awards from the National Sculpture Society and grants from the Adolph and Esther Gottlieb Foundation as well as the Artists' Fellowship, Inc. His painted wood carvings have been sought out by numerous private collectors in the United States as well as abroad.

Anticipating new challenges-"I’ve been doing professional wood carving 12 years," says McNeill. (Shortly after finishing his stint in the Peace Corps in 1994, the artist became an apprentice to a master wood carver in Honduras, where he perfected his artistry.) "I'd really like to take on a large installation at this point; for instance, for a large home or resort, or an office building, even a cruise ship!"

artists website- www.ScottMcNeillArt.com

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Headlines: January, 2008; Peace Corps Honduras; Directory of Honduras RPCVs; Messages and Announcements for Honduras RPCVs; Art; Sculpture

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Story Source: Scott McNeill Art

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