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Nov 18, 2021
Interview: Veryl Goodnight on Bronze Sculpture

Interview with Veryl Goodnight, sculptor of bronze, and Ann Korologos Gallery on the artist’s process and the impact of her work.

What brought you to work with bronze, and what do you enjoy and appreciate about the medium?

I began as a painter and realized very early (1960’s) that I had to understand anatomy to paint well. There was not a good way to get an art education in traditional work at that time as abstract was taking hold. I started sculpting to teach myself anatomy – it took hold and dominated my work for 19 years. And, yes, I now am confident about my knowledge of anatomy on everything from birds to people to all four-legged critters. I sculpt from life and enjoy an intimate relationship with my models, looking closely at every nuance of the form. 

Veryl Goodnight - Prospector's Partner 10/30
Veryl Goodnight, “Prospector’s Partner 10/30,” Bronze, 15 x 18 x 8 in

What do you hope a collector notices about your work in this medium?

The viewer of sculpture first sees the silhouette – the subject – and then the idea. I hope collectors look even closer and can see the accuracy and details behind what I hope was a good design and a good idea that caught their attention. The deepest layer, however, is the meaning behind each work. 

How does the artistic process vary for you in your transition from working to bronze back to painting?

Working in multiple mediums is an excellent mental exercise for any artist because you “see differently” in different mediums. Each one dictates both opportunities and limitations.  Much is, of course, the same – but sculpture has to “work” from 360 degrees. This makes the motion paramount. Paintings rely more on the effect of light on color. Rarely can something work well in both mediums – but I pull it off occasionally. “Village Kinship” – the native girl and sled dog is the best example. Both the painting and sculpture rely on the silhouette, but it is the universally recognized intensity of the relationship that made this successful.

Veryl Goodnight - Village Kinship
Veryl Goodnight, “Village Kinship,” Bronze, 19 x 27 in

How do you hope a collector may interact with your work, or the work interact with their space?

Most of my work has many layers to it. I hope that the viewer can go beyond “Nice Dog” (for instance), to finding their own way to relate to a work. Art is “completed by the viewer.” I have deep personal reasons for each creative effort. Seldom does the buyer relate for the same reasons. 

The most successful art – no matter the medium – is art that engages the viewer. I always like to know “why” someone chose a certain work. 

Is there anything else you’d like to share?

My work is not repetitive. I do not rely on a recipe or tricks. As a result, not all pieces are successful. Having a gallery like yours that recognizes this and is always willing to take a chance is extremely important to me. Yes, we all have to make a living and sales are important, but I feel that AK Gallery truly LOVES the art and not just the dollar. 

Veryl Goodnight - Radar - 24/30
Veryl Goodnight, “Radar – 24/30,” Sculpture, 12 x 13.5 x 5 in
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