Evolving Form Sculpture by Jack Shapiro
Sculpture by Jack Shapiro: Coinciding with his 92nd birthday, artist Jack Shapiro loaned the Highland Park Public Library a 500 pound alabaster stone sculpture. Evolving Form is one of 70 soft stone pieces Shapiro has completed during his 55 years living, painting, and carving in the borough.
Shapiro, who grew used to working with small hand tools during his career making artificial teeth and crowns at his dental laboratory, now feels comfortable using them on large stones, some more than 50 million years old.
In 1954 he took a painting class at the borough Y with George Segal, a sculptor who later became famous for creating large pieces by swaddling his human models in plaster bandages manufactured by nearby Johnson and Johnson. From the time he enrolled in the class, through the rest of his career and 25 years in to his retirement, Shapiro has never stopped painting or carving.
The alabaster stone piece, now in the entranceway of the library, took Shapiro about three months to carve, polish, and finish. It is on long term loan to the library.
“It’s important for me to develop original work and not repeat myself,” Shapiro said. “It’s also vital for the artist to be seen and share with their community; otherwise we’re creating in a vacuum.”