Judge for 2017 Awards
Clarence Cameron- Sculptor
|Photo by James GIll, Madison, Wisconsin|
ABOUT THE ARTIST , Clarence P. Cameron is a Wisconsin native and longtime resident of Madison. He attended the University of Wisconsin before eventually obtaining a degree in mortuary science at the Wisconsin Institute of Mortuary Science in Milwaukee. In 1965, he decided to go into business for himself and he opened the Double C Ceramic Shop, a wholesale-retail hobby ceramic business. After first experiencing it in mortuary science school, his real love was hand-building in clay. In 1974, he sold the business to pursue that full-time. Over the years, he gained a noteworthy reputation for his unique stoneware and porcelain owls.
After working as a sculptor in clay for twenty-four years, Clarence turned his attention full-time to soapstone, pewter, bronze, and copper. Although he creates only owls, he strives to capture the spirit of the owl, sometimes in realistic, sometimes in abstract representations. Clarence has exhibited his work at art fairs around the country and has won many awards. By invitation, he has also exhibited at the Florida Wildlife Expo and the Tucson Gem and Mineral Show. His soapstone owls have been included thirteen times in the prestigious, international Birds in Art at the Leigh Yawkey Woodson Art Museum in Wausau, Wisconsin. A number of those sculptures have been included in the museum’s yearlong touring exhibition. In 1997, Midnight Mouser was acquired by the Woodson Art Museum for its permanent collection.
Clarence’s work is also in the permanent collection of the Earth and Mineral Sciences Museum and Art Gallery at Penn State University, and in numerous corporate and private collections around the world, including the Ministry of Defence in Singapore. Over the years, he has received a great deal of publicity, including a July, 1995 article featuring his soapstone owls in Lapidary Journal and inclusion in a special sculpture edition of the July/August, 2002 Wildlife Art magazine. His work has also been featured in OWLS magazine. In 1997, photographs of two of his sculptures were included in the book, Owls of North America, by Jeffrey Whiting. In 2006, a feature article about Clarence titled, “Man of the Owl,” appeared in Madison’s Sunday Wisconsin State Journal. In 2008, seven images of Clarence’s soapstone owls were included in the book, Illustrated Owls: Barn, Barred & Great Horned by Denny Rogers (Fox Chapel Publishing). In November, 2015, the Sunday Wisconsin State Journal included another feature article titled, “Owlman Bids Farewell,” about Clarence’s retirement from art fairs.
In 2008, Clarence became a Professional Member of Wisconsin Visual Artists (WVA), formerly Wisconsin Painters and Sculptors. This is a statewide, non-profit organization of visual artists and friends united to advance opportunities and services for artists and the general public. It is committed to the importance and value of art and its creation in our society. (wisconsinvisualartists.com)
In 2012, he was honored to be invited to join the Society of Animal Artists as a Signature Member. The Society of Animal Artists is an association of animal and wildlife painters and sculptors. Founded in 1960, the Society is devoted to promoting excellence in the portrayal of the creatures sharing our planet, and to the education of the public through its informative art seminars, lectures, and teaching demonstrations. Some of the finest animal artists from around the world are represented in the Society's membership. Over the past 40 years, the work created by these artists has established new standards of artistic excellence and respect, helping animal and wildlife art to achieve a place of honor in the field of fine art. In 2013, Clarence’s soapstone owl, Waiting for the Moment, was selected for the Society of Animal Artists’ 53rd annual exhibition, Art and the Animal, at the Bennington Center for the Arts in Bennington, Vermont. His work has been included in the Art and the Animal exhibition each year. His sculpture, Not in My Back Yard, after being accepted in 2016, is currently in the yearlong touring exhibition. (societyofanimalartists.com)
Other recent Wisconsin exhibitions have included the 2015 Wildlife Biennial at the Miller Museum in Sturgeon Bay, and, in 2016, Critters at the Plymouth Art Center, Plymouth, and In Our Midst, an invitational of Wisconsin’s Contemporary Native American Art at the Scarabocchio Art Museum in Stevens Point.
Clarence is also founder of the Wisconsin Alliance of Artists and Craftspeople, Inc. (WAAC). It is a non-profit, tax-exempt organization with approximately 350 professional artists and craftspeople from throughout Wisconsin. WAAC works to develop exhibition opportunities for its members and to encourage and promote young artists and craftspeople. It sponsors the Winter Art Fair Off the Square at the Monona Terrace and the July Art Fair Off the Square, which was established in 1980 with Clarence as a co-founder. Artist Statement: Prolific—or just obsessed? That I have created owls in various media for over almost fifty years is almost unbelievable, even for me. However, there are few creatures, other than we humans, who can be represented in so many different ways and still be identified. I have always strived to capture the essence of owls, but I feel that it was only with my discovery of soapstone that I found myself. I have often heard or read of sculptors saying, “The stone will tell you what is inside.” The fact that I have found so many owls should be expected. For almost fifty years, I exhibited my work at art fairs to have direct interaction with my customers. Many became good friends. Now, having aged a bit, I am no longer exhibiting at art fairs, but still use my website to sell my work and “to keep the creative juices flowing.” (owlman.com)