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Local artist's sculpture honks into hearts of children

by Brad Fuqua & Western News
| September 30, 2010 6:15 PM

Local artist Ron Adamson learned recently that a bronze sculpture he created will become a centerpiece for the Renown Regional Medical Center’s children’s hospital in Reno, Nev.

Stremmel Art Gallery Director Turkey Stremmel and Renown employees select art to go into the children’s hospital’s Tahoe and Sierra lobbies. The pieces are intended to give patients, families and visitors a warm welcome into the healing environment.

“It’s really a stunningly, wonderful piece,” Stremmel said. “When we got it, we weren’t sure where it would go. I have placed probably almost 900 pieces of mostly original art in the hospital. They’re quite wonderful as far as how important the arts are for healing.”

Adamson, 54, said he received a letter from the Stremmel Gallery that the sculpture had been purchased. The gallery was seeking permission from Adamson to include images of the artwork on brochures and ads.

Entitled “Intruder,” the sculpture features a female goose and male goose with three goslings.

“They thought for the children that it was a funny, happy centerpiece for the hospital,” said Adamson, who cast the piece in the mid-1990s when he had his own foundry.

“One little gosling has its head in the water with its little feet sticking up,” Stremmel said. “The other two are around the female.”

The piece measures 37.5 inches long by 13.5 inches high and 11 inches deep.

“I believe it was purchased in Olympia, Wash., by a multimillionaire … and then he passed away and his collection was donated and auctioned off in Great Falls,” Adamson said. “It’s the only place that I can think of where this sculpture came from. It’s kind of surprising that it would resurface now.”

Stremmel attended the auction and purchased the sculpture in March.

“I literally got it at auction and knew it would be perfect in the hospital,” Stremmel said. “At the time, I didn’t know where … this is a whole new area that we’re doing. It’s a hospital within a hospital.”

Adamson said the gallery is interested in possibly other pieces from the artist, who is a Libby native.

“It’s a piece that will be seen by not just kids but also by parents and of course, staff and doctors and caregivers,” Stremmel said. “It’ll give a lot of enjoyment.”

In unrelated news, Adamson recently signed a contract with Woodcarver’s Illustrated to write an article on Native American woodcarving. The magazine has nationwide circulation.

Adamson, who said he is no longer a full-time artist, just recently started going to art shows that were exclusive to woodcarving.

Adamson is a 1974 Libby High School graduate who moved away and then returned in 2008.