On a recent Sunday, Alonzo produced a sculpture of a totally different kind, not at all his typical animal works. It is this remarkable crucifix.
Several years ago, Alonzo’s life-sized Arabian foal, Cassie, was purchased for placement at KidsPark, a disability-accessible play area at Lafayette Elementary School. Ultimately, for several reasons, the sculpture could not be placed in the schoolyard.
One of Alonzo’s new friends asked a question that I had asked over 20 years ago, “Can I buy a sculpture that has not been cast in bronze?”
Nancy Mason wrote this reply – Alonzo, of course, creates all these sculptures using clay or a wax/clay mixture. Then a mold is made from his model, and then it goes to the foundry for casting.
A wonderful opportunity has arisen for Alonzo, as he has been commissioned to create a mountain lion sculpture for Lyons Elementary School. Teacher Mr. Timothy Ambrose tells how this project came to be:
“From September through December 2015, Lyons Elementary School 5th grade students studied human rights. They read novels with characters who had disabilities and who experienced injustices, while building empathy. They studied injustices in slavery and read stories about African American history. Rex Peoples from the Colorado Blues Society visited and discussed these important topics and told stories through blues music, continuing to build empathy. They read and interpreted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, examining each article. The final visit for the 5th grade human rights project was from Alonzo, who has visited the school previously as well. The students learned about Alonzo’s background and savant syndrome, and watched him demonstrate his sculpting. Alonzo’s message and presence resonated with this class in a powerful way.
Alonzo enjoys demonstrating his sculpting abilities for school groups and other audiences, as long as these events are not too frequent. He is accompanied by his assistant, Nancy Mason, or another friend, who tells some of Alonzo’s amazing story as he sculpts one or more of his animal figures.
Alonzo named this bison “King” or “King of the Plains,” thinking of it as the father of his cast sculpture, “Prince of the Plains.”
Unique among Alonzo’s creations, this fanciful sculpture shows a new twist on an old theme. Why wouldn’t the face be on the outside rather than the inside of the arc?