Recently Alan was featured in North Carolina Homes Magazine in the article, "Unique Memorial Portraits from Alan Clement, Sculptures Help Individuals Honor Loved Ones," by S. Mathur. The Article is republished below:
Varied life experiences might be considered essential for an artist's resume and Alan Clement, Owner of the studio, has plenty to draw upon. He says: "I have a colorful background. After my creative group, I moved to NYC, became a corporate spokesman, studied acting and became a lifetime member of the Screen Actors Guild, mostly playing bit parts, part-time."
He was always interested in art, he says, and worked in his father's sign shop as a boy. He took art classes at school, and spent the obligatory years with struggling artists in New York City. This was back in the 1980s, when he was part-time helper to sculptors with studios in Chelsea warehouses. He also ran a creative group of writers and designers, and has won major awards in NY Art Directors competitions.
Clement is primarily a portrait sculptor. Two recent exhibits in Raleigh, The Disciples and Women Through the Ages, illustrate the range of his work. The Disciples is a group of portraits of members of Clement's congregation, inspire by a pastor who felt that each was a disciple, just like the original disciples. Models who volunteered were also asked to write about why they chose to be represented as Peter, Andrew or Mary Magdalene. The second exhibit, featured Eve in the Garden and nine other women through the ages up to 2000.
Clement also does memorial portrait sculptures, working from photographs: "Many of my commissions are memorials honoring a departed, many from out-of-town. I try hard to capture the expression of the individuals that best reflect their characters, the way they would want to be remembered. Families often exchange the piece (of Mother or Dad) at Christmas time, each keeping it their homes for one year."
Memorial sculptures can honor a parent or grandparent, teacher, coach, or philanthropist, and find a place of honor in homes, schools, places of worship, and boardrooms. The sculptures are life-size heads and busts that capture the essence of the person. The finishes range from pure white to faux-bronze.
As well as portraits and memorials, Clement sculptures can be spiritual or free form. Many of these can be purchased at the gallery and at boutique art stores along the East Coast. Clement shares his skill and knowledge through art classes at the Blue Ridge Mountains Art Association, helping students experience the the joy and peace of sculpting.
He is also active in a national caregiving group, that counsels men facing life crises. The common thread linking his two vocations might be listening. In his artist statement, Clement says of his ministry that "We are very much aware that our value as a listener is directly related to the mistakes we've made in our own lives. Or sins. Or happenings."
We were recently featured in an article, Unique Memorial Portraits from Alan Clement Sculptures Help Individuals Honor Loved Ones. If you're interested in North Carolina Real Estate, check out what they have to offer for Youngsville, NC Homes for Sale.
Have you been giving any thought lately to what the world will be like for your kids, or your grandchildren, once they’re out of college and looking for work?
Looking for the workplace would be more like it, because half of the workplace as we know it today will have disappeared, victim of robotics and foreign wages. That’s just part of the problem. China will be the world power exerting its muscle --they’ve been buying up countries and building islands in the sea for giant warplanes -- the economy will still be on its way back, the banks will still be too big to fail, and K street will still be the strongest arm of government.
That is, unless we do something about it.
Would you like to be part of an effort to prepare parents in how to prepare their kids for the years ahead?
Life would be a lot simpler, if we could be texting the Voice of God to one another. It would probably be a different voice for each of us, heard only on occasion, usually when things aren’t going so well and we’re listening better. That would be meaningful in itself, to benefit from all the different life trials and the different ways we have responded to those trials.
Some of us have been the good listener for dozens of men experiencing a wide range of life’s trials. We’ll try to pass along, right here, some of what we have learned from them about life. No preaching, no agenda, no judgments, just observations, so tune in whenever you feel like it.
Have you been giving any thought lately to the world we’re leaving our children, and our grandchildren,
The world they will be inheriting from us? Our legacy. Imagine what life will be like, speeded up well beyond anything we can keep up with even today. Imagine how fast everything will be changing, in just a few years.
Think about the kind of obstacles our kids will face in just making a living. Robotics alone will have eliminated half of all the jobs we depend on today. The new jobs will demand a level of competence we have never known, and that level will keep rising. Adjusting to continuous change will be the norm.
Are we doing enough today, right now, to prepare our children, and our grandchildren, for life in the near future? The 2020s and 2030s? The 2050s?
Are we doing anything?
Will Rogers, one of our down-home philosophers, described advertising as the art of convincing people to spend money they don’t have for something they don’t need. Advertising drives shopping and shopping drives America. It’s the number one diversion that keeps us numb, not dumb, but numb to the notion, for example, that we can do anything to change what comes out of Washington. We’re conditioned to getting in line and not causing any trouble. Meanwhile, the strongest arm of our
government is now located on K Street, home of all the lobbyists. They run the country, powered by money from the top 1% and major corporations, all funneled to our congressmen to support their re-elections, and all cheered on by our TV blowhards and pretty faces. We forget that they are on the payroll, too: the world’s media is controlled by just 12 major corporations, run by the likes of Rupert Murdoch.
So what are we going to do about it?
When we face a serious trial in our lives, a loss of a loved one, or a serious illness, like cancer – cancer now affects 6 out of 10 families – we need someone to talk to, someone who has been down the road we’re facing, ideally a caregiver trained in Stephen ministry. Here is a trusted friend who can help you get your life in order, who meets with you once a week, same time, same place, so you can talk openly
and honestly, ridding yourself of any old baggage from the past that you might be harboring, old sins or regrets – some of us were raised on guilt and punishment -- your caregiver will be helping you get in perspective with you, who you are and who you want to be, in perspective with your wife or husband, your family and friends, the people you love and love you, and in perspective with the Lord.
Best of all, no one else will ever know what you two talked about, but the Lord will be listening in.
Do you believe that everything, everything, is in God’s Plan?
Some of us have lost a son or daughter to a highway accident, or worse, to drugs; two out of three have suffered a trial with cancer before fading away; millions have been unemployed for at least two years and have lost their self-worth along with a job; maybe you have suffered a separation and nasty divorce, along with the blended, and unblended, families that follow.
The point is that our lives are filled with trials. Fortunately, there is some balance provided by all the triumphs, the wonderful things that happen in our lives. Do we accept that they happen, at random, or do we envision a Lord up there pushing the reward or punish buttons according to our good or bad behavior? Some of us, especially as we get older, learn to expect the unexpected and simply pray for the strength, patience and wisdom to endure the trials and appreciate the triumphs.
Are you a sinner? Ever been a sinner? Join the club. We’re all sinners.
Those of us in Stephen Ministry wish it had never been called a ministry, because that says we members are some kind of ministers, holier than thou.
Nothing could be farther from the truth. We know full well that our value in the program is in direct relation to the number, and depth, of the sins and mistakes we have made in our own lives. Add to that the mistakes other people have made, the people we have served as caregivers, and you can be pretty sure that we’ve already experienced the troubles bothering you.
We’re not holy. We’re more like the ragged group of fishermen the Lord put up with.
But we are experienced, and we do care. We want to help you unload whatever package of sins or mistakes you have made. We’re sworn to secrecy, so no one else, no one, will ever know what the two of us talked about.
The Lord may be listening in, and that’s OK, because he’s the fixer.
In our many meetings with married men over the years, we discovered a pattern that contributes more to the destruction of a marriage than we realize. It’s called bickering, characterized by nasty digs, one-ups and put-downs delivered in a tone of voice suggesting that the one delivering them is far superior to the one receiving them and expects the latter to acknowledge that fact while on their knees. It begins in the early stages of a relationship with seemingly good-natured little references to what might be called a fault.
Repeated often enough, they become a fault-in-fact and get added to the collection and are soon delivered with gusto. It becomes a competition determining who can make the opponent feel worse, never mind who is right and who is wrong. Sad, because so many couples have failed to realize that all they have to do is STOP, agree to trade all that in on a hug and a smile, and a resolve to put the respect
back into the relationship.
Henri Nouwen has a great way of describing relationships. When two people first meet, one usually reveals something about herself/himself and puts it in the space between, to encourage the other to do the same; this exchange continues, back and forth, until the space between becomes filled with the two qualities that make for a strong relationship, respect and trust. Respect for one another, trust in one another.
That’s the kind of relationship that exists in our caregiving program. When we first meet with someone going through one of life’s trials, we establish that respect and trust by agreeing to talk openly, honestly and completely, assured that whatever is revealed remains in the space between the two of us. Of course, we hope the Creator has been listening in, too, and makes His presence known.
Ever wonder how people in other countries picture us?
Here’s how they see America:
Fortunately, Americans average 15 laughs per day.
One of the virtues of sculpting is that you can be thinking of something else while your hands are busy creating something that will be cherished for a lifetime. My something else is usually someone else’s problem.