Cumberland University


Adams Gallery Hosts LeQuire Exhibit


"Farrar," a life-sized plaster cast by Alan LeQuire

A new exhibit of portrait sculpture by well-known sculptor Alan LeQuire will go on display in the Adams Gallery at Cumberland University on Tuesday, Nov. 6. The exhibit is scheduled to run through Dec. 7. The University will hold a reception in honor of the artist on Tuesday, Nov. 13 at 5:30 p.m. in the June & Bill Heydel Fine Arts Center.

Both the exhibit and the reception are free and open to the public.

"We are so lucky to have an artist as well known as Alan LeQuire showing his work here," Connie Pirtle, adjunct faculty in sculpture at Cumberland University, said. "We want to encourage people to come hear him speak about his work on Nov. 13. He is so good at explaining what he does. Creating figure and portrait sculpture is a complex process, and Mr. LeQuire makes it understandable to all."

LeQuire is the creator of the monumental Athena Parthenos -- the largest indoor statue in the western world -- housed in Nashville's Parthenon. His most recent installation in Nashville is the huge sculpture Musica, located on Music Row. LeQuire's work is both realistic and idealistic, in the manner of sculpture created in the Classical Era. He has received many prestigious commissions during his career, including monuments to women's suffrage in both Knoxville and the Tennessee State Capitol.

After graduating from Vanderbilt University, LeQuire apprenticed to American sculptor Milton Hebald, who lived in Italy. From Hebald and the master craftsmen at Italian bronze foundries, LeQuire discovered the classical modeling and casting techniques that would inspire his work from then on. He holds the M.F.A. degree from the University of North Carolina in Greensboro, where he studied figurative sculpture with Peter Agostini.

When he won the Athena commission, shortly after his graduation, LeQuire began a daunting endeavor -- researching classical mythology, materials and sculpting techniques and on-the-job experience in creating one-of-a-kind sculpture. He supported himself by working on portrait commissions and other projects during the eight years it took to complete Athena Parthenos.

As LeQuire's friend, noted author Madison Smartt Bell, states in his biographical sketch of the sculptor, "Like the classical and Renaissance artists ... Alan LeQuire believes that the human figure is the single artistic subject to which all viewers inevitably respond ... He is especially concerned with the relation of humanity to the world it inhabits. For him, the world is meaningful, and the human figure serves as the primary carrier of meaning."