A Brush with Art

Sculptures enrich library

Guests of the Encinitas Library are in for an unprecedented pleasure during the exhibit of “The Shape of Things: James Hubbell Sculpture” on display through July 22.

“Three Sentinels,” set of three cast bronze maquettes by James Hubbell.  Image courtesy of Hubbell Studios
“Three Sentinels,” set of three cast bronze maquettes by James Hubbell. Image courtesy of Hubbell Studios

The Oceanside Museum of Art, in collaboration with the city of Encinitas, presents a collection of 16 sculptures created during the last 50 years of acclaimed artist James Hubbell’s career.

The exhibited sculptures express Hubbell’s inner world and philosophies through a diverse range of media while demonstrating his mastery of the visual language of sculpture.

With undeniably profound reverence for nature, Hubbell is widely recognized for his biomorphic shapes and incorporation of a rich variety of materials into his art and architecture.

Danielle Susalla Deery of the Oceanside Museum of Art wrote of Hubbell’s work, “This accomplished artist’s relationship with nature is his primary source of inspiration. Hubbell turns bronze, glass, stone and wood into poetic manifestations that evoke both the inherent essence of the material and his passionate sensitivity to his surrounding natural environment.”

While the 82-year-old Hubbell has long been considered a San Diego treasure, his more than 100 public artworks worldwide have received international acclaim.

Hubbell has been recognized primarily for his architectural work while also being actively engaged in the visual arts and poetry throughout his career. He recently commented on his relationship with sculpture, “I often think of myself as a sculptor and attribute much of my direction in architecture to it.”

Daniel Foster, Executive Director of The Oceanside Museum of Art states: “As one explores the special talents and unique qualities that define Hubbell’s artistic aesthetic, style, and iconography, it becomes highly apparent … that Hubbell himself is a master of life. In effect, his artworks are actually the material artifacts that capture the journey and spirit of a remarkable human being.”

Hubbell has indeed led an extraordinary life of contribution, much of which has been focused on stimulating creativity and cooperation in others as a vehicle for creating a more peaceful and harmonious world.

In 1982 Hubbell and his wife Anne founded The Ilan-Lael Foundation on the 40-acre site of their Santa Ysabel, Calif. home. The foundation initially served as a conduit for Hubbell’s many involvements, including the design and building of a school for the arts in Colonia Esperanza, Tijuana, Mexico.

Hubbell also founded Pacific Rim Parks, an organization whose multifaceted mission includes “fostering understanding and goodwill while bridging political, cultural, environmental, and spiritual boundaries” while working with teams of volunteers in creating the parks.

Through the process of training volunteers in his multiple projects, Hubbell has equipped many artists and craftsmen worldwide with skills that have enabled them in turn to develop their own creative careers and pass the gift along to others.

After a major portion of the Hubbell property was destroyed by wildfire in 2003, individuals rallied to help restore the damaged structures as testament to the esteemed position Hubbell holds in the community. Since that time the Ilan-Lael Foundation’s purpose has been crystallized in Hubbell’s words as “an arts education foundation celebrating nature and the aesthetic of the built environment for its ability to help us see ourselves and our world in new ways.”

As Daniel Foster aptly states, “…Hubbell’s art envisions our best hopes for the future of art and society.”

The public is invited to meet James Hubbell and view his work at the opening reception of “The Shape of Things: James Hubbell Sculpture” June 30, from 2 to 4 p.m. at the Encinitas Library, at 540 Cornish Drive, Encinitas. The exhibit runs through July 22.

For more information about James Hubbell and his art and architecture visit jameshubbellart.com.