Saturday, February 02, 2013
Tina Allen, African American sculptor (1948-2008) created in bronze larger than life figures of many notable African Americans such as: abolitionist Sojourner Truth,author Alex Haley,scientist George Washington Carver and the Reverend Martin Luther King Jr., as well as many unknowns. Her talent for sculpting was evident in her early teens when during her art class in public school she sculpted a bust of Artistotle instead of the assigned ash tray in clay. She felt that it was her mission to be "writing our history in bronze," and as such did extensive research into the lives of her subjects, interviewing them and their friends, using many reference photgraphs and pictures, if the subject was deceased, to capture the essence of the individual. She said of her work, "I'm trying to infuse a soul into these objects." Her agent, Quentin Moses, said that "once she got her hands into the clay, her subjects started talking to her." As her hands molded and fashioned the clay into the desired image, it seemed to breathe.