Eagle artist crafts life-sized bronze icons | VailDaily.com

Eagle artist crafts life-sized bronze icons

Katie Drucker
Eagle Correspondent
Eagle, CO Colorado
Kristin Anderson/Vail DailyBart Gunderson, of Eagle, Colorado, smoothes out part of Harold Moser's hand on the "Mr. and Mrs. Naperville" sculpture that he is creating for the city of Naperville on Monday in his Eagle Ranch home.

EAGLE, CO Colorado “-When Eagle artist Bart Gunderson returns to his old hometown of Naperville, Ill., he won’t be packing lightly.

Gunderson will soon make the 1,000 mile drive from Eagle to Naperville with a trailer in tow. That trailer will be carrying an 800-pound, bronze sculpture that cost Naperville $130,000 and took six months for Gunderson to fashion.

After much carving, molding and detailing, Gunderson created a sculpture that depicts a man and woman emerging from a chunk of rock as if an artist was in the process of carving them. The unfinished look symbolizes the growing and ever-changing city of Naperville.

The sculpture, titled “Mr. and Mrs. Naperville,” is a tribute to Harold Moser. Moser was responsible for developing half of the homes in Naperville, and is considered an icon in the community’s history. Also depicted is Moser’s wife Margaret, known for helping her husband with the layout of his developments.

The sculpture includes a golden shovel symbolizing a ground-breaking ceremony. The sculpture also features depictions of downtown Naperville’s Main Street, the church the Mosers were involved in and North Central College, Harold Moser’s alma mater.

A seasoned artist

This intricate life-size creation is Gunderson’s first sculpture ” but that didn’t phase the talented artist.

“I know a lot about sculpture,” said Gunderson, “and I bought a few books.”

And although this was Gunderson’s first sculpture, he is seasoned in other art forms.

“I have been drawing since I was five years old,” Gunderson said.

Gunderson’s extensive resume includes creating artwork for The Chicago Sun-Times and designing theme restaurants for MacDonalds. He painted a 35-foot-by-75-foot mural for Naperville and designed The News Room restaurant in Minneapolis, Minn. Additionally, he created art for the Drake Hotel and Hyatt Hotels as well as for the national retailer Athlete’s Foot. He also has designed artwork for high-end theme rooms in local homes.

Gunderson said he’s been lucky to support himself as an artist. He admits that while he loved sculpting, he can’t wait to get “Mr. and Mrs. Naperville” out of his garage and start on his next creative venture ” whatever that may be.

“I like being diverse,” Gunderson said. “Every business has to be diverse and think outside the box to survive.”

To view Gunderson’s work, visit http://www.bartgunderson.com or contact him at 970-331-4370 or Bartongunderson@centurytel.net.

E-mail comments about this story to cschnell@vaildaily.com.

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