Beacon Art Shortwave Gallery, located in the bucolic seaside hamlet of Stone Harbor, NJ, is home to a diverse array of contemporary artwork. Gary Jacketti, a classically trained sculptor, founded Beacon Art in 2009. His latest masterpiece, Goodbye, is a tribute to US military families. Goodbye is scheduled to be unveiled on Veteran's Day 2014 at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY.
Goodbye is a life-sized two figure group depicting a military father bidding farewell to his curly haired daughter. "I like my sculptures to have a narrative. My idea was to have the military father walking his child to school," Jacketti explained. "The most important aspect of this statue group is the relationship between the father and the daughter." The emotional bond of Goodbye is conveyed through the eyes; the father's reassuring gaze, the daughter's trepidatious eyes. A pair of hands gesturing a silent farewell nods to Michelangelo Buonarotti's legendary The Creation of Adam, when God breathes life into Adam through the delicate play of nearly touching fingers.
Internationally, Jacketti has taught military children for twenty-three years. Goodbye will stand outside the elementary and middle school complex at West Point. "The school is being refurbished," said Jacketti, "I proposed that we would do a two figure statue in honor of the military child." Jacketti's students participated in the initial fabrication of the sculpture. "For a project of this scope, based on the scale, the size and the number of figures, it has taken approximately two years to complete," Jacketti explained.
In addition to sculpting, Gary Jacketti works in a continuously evolving variety of mediums. Jacketti, who studied in Rome and Florence, is the co-founder of the beacon artist union (bau) located in Beacon, New York. He has created numerous sculptures in bronze, including a sweeping life sized statue of Saint Brendan located in Saint Brendan the Navigator Parish in Avalon, NJ. Jacketti's oeuvre also includes "Mosaic Portraits: The Resolution of One," a series of one-inch handmade ceramic tiles arranged to create the illusion of an image. Complementing Jacketti's work at the Gallery is an eclectic treasure trove of innovative artwork which invites the viewer to think outside the window box. Several of the artists featured at Beacon Art have been showcased at notable venues, including the 2014 Venice Biennale and The New York Public Library.
Drive up to West Point this autumn to gaze upon Gary Jacketti's homage to military families. Jacketti's labor of love, Goodbye, will be immortalized as an eternal tribute for generations to come.
Check out Joe Monzo's short documentary on Goodbye: http://vimeo.com/101743714
Beacon Art Shortwave Gallery: http://www.beaconart.net/
Follow Jack Meyer on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jam693