Betty Barker Sculpture Garden


The art exhibition program at California State University, San Bernardino, Palm Desert Campus is organized by the Palm Springs Art Museum.

Betty Barker Bio

Betty Gold

Betty Gold Art 1Betty Gold Artwork

 

Instructors Jen Guy and J McMerty from the Los Angeles campus of Elon University are creating a dance film inspired by Betty Gold's sculptures. See four of the student dancers with the sculptures on campus recorded in July, 2013 in the second half of the video
at:http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nvnnHWejpIU

 

Michael Todd

Michael Todd sculpture - Daimaru

Michael Todd
American, born 1935
Daimaru XIV. 1980-83
steel
145 x 146 x 36 inches
Collection of Palm Desert Campus
Gift of Kathryn Doi Todd

Born in Omaha, Nebraska and raised in Chicago, Michael Todd developed a love for the arts at the Art Institute of Chicago's classes for children. Todd received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1957 from the University of Notre Dame and a Master of Arts degree from the University of California, Los Angeles in 1959. He was granted the Woodrow Wilson Fellowship in 1959 and a Fullbright Fellowship in 1961. In 1970, Todd created his first sculpture with a circle and explained that "form seems to flow more naturally and freely in the circle, yet it provides creative restraints and discipline."

Todd's artworks are a blend of organic and geometric shapes that reflect his interest in metaphysics. "I have always felt like a painter at heart, and my sculpture is certainly much more painterly, that is, more gestural and lyrical, than most sculptors. I have been painting on canvas occasionally over the years, and the paintings have always helped me to loosen up the sculpture" says Todd. His three-dimensional works are infused with Asian symbols as his open circles are associated with distant galaxies, infinity, erogenous zones, the sun, the wheel and halos.

Todd's Daimaru XIV is one of many sculptures in a series; Daimaru means "large circle" in Japanese. Todd says that "In Zen brush-painting, the circle is a master's problem. It represents everything and nothing, and in so doing, the universe. The Daimaru series in my attempt to master the problem and express my small part in the cosmos."

John Buck

John Buck sculpture - Standing Figure

John Buck
American, born 1946
Standing Figure. 1987
bronze
97 x 41 x 35 inches
Collection of Palm Springs Art Museum
Gift of Steve Chase

John Buck, born in Ames, Iowa, studied at the Kansas City Art Institute, earning a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in 1968. He received his Master of Fine Arts degree from the University of California, Davis in 1972, was awarded a National Endowment for the Arts Artist's Fellowship in 1980, and was a recipient of an Awards in the Visual Arts Fellowship in 1984. Currently, he divides his time between a home in Hawaii and a Montana ranch that he shares with his wife, sculptor Deborah Butterfield.

A recurring theme in Buck's art is the solitary figure that represents a universal human spirit. Surrounded by symbols of contemporary society, Standing Figure is anonymous, without head, gender or personality. The objects the figure supports suggest the burdens each person metaphorically carries on his/her shoulders. Each sign has its own possible meaning. For example, the stacking forms could allude to the modern urban environment while the spiral form may refer to a continuously spreading and accelerating increase in the world population. Through his art, Buck speaks to the precarious balance between man, nature and the survival of the planet.

Erwin Binder

Erwin Binder sculpture - Maiz Goddess

Erwin Binder
American, 1934-1993
Maiz Goddess. 1987
bronze, edition 3/3
66 x 47 x 17 inches
Collection of Palm Springs Art Museum
Gift of Erwin Binder

Born in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Erwin Binder attended Temple University before entering the Air Force in 1952. He was stationed in New Mexico, near the border of Mexico where he studied Mexican history, language and culture.
After his military service, Binder worked as a jeweler in a family jewelry business for twenty years where he learned casting techniques. The experience of seeing José Clemente Orozco's fresco The Elements renewed his dedication to the arts and inspired him to attend Otis Art Institute in Los Angeles.

Binder developed his skill as a sculptor working in onyx, a translucent stone that comes in a variety of colors. This semiprecious stone enabled Binder to express himself in form, volume and color. Influenced by Auguste Rodin's sculptures, Binder experimented with images of primal energy and humanistic concerns.

Creating "sensuous and grotesque or graceful and awkward" bronze and onyx figures, Binder said that his work represents a blend of influences, with Mexican culture predominating. Binder's sculptures have been linked with the modern Mexican school because he expresses great emotion in a simple form.

Simi Dabah

Simi Dabah sculpture

Simi Dabah
American, born 1927
No. 12-23-02, 2002
welded steel
7'6"H x 7'4"W x 40", 660 lbs Collection of Palm Desert Campus
Gift of Simi Dabah

Simi Dabah sculpture

Simi Dabah
American, born 1927
No. 10-30-05, 2005
welded steel
11'10"H x 6'6"W x 18", 300 lbs Collection of Palm Desert Campus
Gift of Simi Dabah

Renowned sculptor Simi Dabah has been welding steel sculpture from industrial scrap for more than 30 years. He explains that one welding lesson changed his expression. "Before, I did ceramics, and painting, and mobiles. And about more than 30 years ago I got a welding lesson and then started doing nothing but metal sculpture after that." He has created more than 1,000 sculptures and his work is on display throughout the Morongo Basin.

Dabah explains that the sculpture he has donated to Cal State San Bernardino's Palm Desert Campus are untitled, but inscribed and identified by the dates of their completion. The pieces on the grounds of the Palm Desert Health Sciences Building are "No. 12-23-02" and "No. 10-30-05".

Simi Dabah's sculpture installations are featured on the campus of Copper Mountain College in Joshua Tree and at various public locations throughout the Morongo Basin, including Yucca Valley, Joshua Tree and Twentynine Palms.

Other examples of his work include "Children at Play" at Pasadena City College, "Sky Climbers" at the Old Schoolhouse Museum in Twentynine Palms and "Untitled Steel" on Wilshire Blvd. in Beverly Hills.

Michael D. Bigger

Michael Bigger sculpture - Texas Totem number one and number two

Michael D. Bigger
American
Texas Totem #1
oxidized steel
6'6" tall, 22" at base
Collection of Palm Desert Campus
Gift of Michael Bigger

Michael D. Bigger
American
Texas Totem #2
oxidized steel
6'6" tall, 22" at base
Collection of Palm Desert Campus
Gift of Michael Bigger

George Montgomery

George Montgomery
American, 1916-2000
Hollywood Heroes. 1994
Bronze, edition 1/7
91 x 38 x 24 inches
Collection Palm springs Art Museum, gift of George Montgomery
George Montgomery Exhibit Brochure

This sculpture is an enlarged version of Hollywood Westerner Hall of Fame trophy designed and executed by artist between 1978 and 1982. Hall of Fame trophies were awarded to western movie stars by President Ronald Reagan.

George Montgomery was born in northern Montana on a large ranch, where as a part of daily life, he learned to ride horses and work cattle.

Some know him as an actor. He was frequently cast in western films starring their #1 box office draw, the singing cowboy, Gene Autry. His movie career included more than 80 feature films. In the 1958-1959 season, Montgomery starred in his own 26-episode NBC Western series, "Cimarron City" as mayor Matt Rockford.

Some know him as a local resident. He retired to Rancho Mirage in 1972 and focused on his skills as a craftsman with wood which he developed into a furniture business. His artistic instincts included learning how to sculpt in bronze. Self-taught, he sculpted upwards of fifty bronze sculptures including ones of John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, Gene Autry, Ronald Reagan, and wife, Dinah Shore, and their children.
The campus is now home to one of his sculptures, located in the lobby of the Indian Wells Theater - on loan from the Palm Springs Art Museum.

Watch for a one-day movie retrospective of his films on campus in the Winter.

Additional Information

For additional information about the art exhibition program at California State University, San Bernardino, Palm Desert Campus, organized by the Palm Springs Art Museum. please email us at: pdcinfo@csusb.edu

The goal of the artist that sites his or her work in a place accessible to the public should be threefold: 1) to provide an artwork that is imaginative and original, 2) to provide an artwork that is sympathetic to the requirements and influences of the site (be it environmental, architectural or sociological), and 3) to provide an artwork that has both integrity and wonder -- an artistic expression that will be true to the artist's vision, while stimulating the imagination and intellect of the viewer.