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Kootenay Life Obelisk

The Professor

Year: 2019
Medium: cast bronze, stainless steel, glasses
Price: $ 20,000
Dimensions: 44" x 24" x 24"


Gregory Johnson

Cumming, GA

Georgia based sculptor Gregory Johnson is returning to Castlegar for a third time since Sculpturewalk’s inception. Unlike his previous efforts here, this year his subject is not human. Rather, it is a deliciously detailed bronze great horned owl. A very wise owl too. Based on the title and the accoutrements that are part of his beguiling sculpture.

One of the foremost bronze sculptors in the United States, Johnson has been creating marvellous, magical studies for decades. He has continued to refine his ability to capture the innate presence of an individual or an animal in lasting bronze, even as he expands his range with steel sculptures that are more contemporary looking.

“Originally, I was primarily a painter,” he notes. “But sculpting grabbed me and now I would say 95 per cent of my output is sculpture. It is the medium I enjoy the most by far.” Lately, he has been experimenting more in semi abstraction, working with stainless steel rather than his favoured bronze.

The Professor, however, bears all the hallmarks of a Johnson classic bronze. Displaying finely detailed feathered legs and ruffled chest plumage, Johnson’s great horned sports draped wings close at her side. There is a distinctly human look to her: impervious, unflappable, dignified, unperturbed and wise. Typical traits one might expect in a professor whether human or avian. In her talons she clutches glasses that dangle over the five haphazardly stacked books she perches on. A sixth rests on its end. The books and glasses enhance this lovely work, providing counterbalance along with whimsy and an implied message. Learning through reading is a good thing. The undeniable beauty and positive message of Johnson’s latest Sculpturewalk entry is certain to delight children and adults alike.

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