Over a lifetime of creating sculpture in many sizes and medium, John Edward Svenson has had a love affair with wood. “There is a direct connection to the material, one can observe the grain and understand the life of the tree. If I am lucky, I can express this life and create something of beauty” says Svenson. Understanding natural form through flora and fauna is at the core of his creations.
John began working in wood as a child and never stopped. Unlike materials such as bronze, which require multiple processes, working in wood is time consuming but immediate. The act of carving wood is therapeutic and personal.
John Svenson was born in Los Angeles in 1923 and grew up on a citrus grove in the Pomona Valley. After WWII, the GI Bill allowed him to attend Claremont Graduate School to study art at Scripps and Pomona College. For many years he worked with sculptor Albert Stewart and artist/designer Millard Sheets. During his prolific career, Svenson produced over 23 sculptures for Home Savings and Loan banks and many public works in California and Alaska. His sculpture and medallic work are held in numerous public and private collections in national and international locations. Teacher Albert Stewart and mentor Paul Manship nominated Svenson to the National Sculpture Society in 1966 and he advanced to “Fellow” in 1971.
John Svenson passed away April 2, 2016 at the age of 92. “He passed in his sleep,” son David Svenson said.
- Bio courtesy of Claremont Museum of Art