Clark Mundy, copper sculptor
The Olympic Peninsula has been my home for most of my 66 years, and will always be. Though I have little formal art education, I feel like everything I’ve ever done is integral to my work. As a teenager, I was inspired by my grandpa to paint, and was overjoyed when my watercolors were shown at the Capitol in Olympia. Over my life I’ve worked in almost every aspect of construction, from operating heavy equipment to fine woodworking, including a stint in the boat building industry. I've also tried my hand at different art forms along the way, and was especially honored to study NW Native woodcarving with Al and Darrell Charles Jr of the Elwha Klallam Tribe.
Inspired by my Native teachers, I sat down about 15 years ago with a ball peen hammer and a piece of copper, with the idea to make a fish. Right away I knew that I had finally found my medium of expression. I now create hand-hammered copper sculpture, specializing in salmon and other NW marine life, Salish-inspired masks, my old friend Raven, and other feathered friends. My work ranges from 4” pendants to 54" jumping salmon, weather vanes, fountains, finials, signs and large wall compositions.
I’ve taught myself to hammer sheet copper freehand, heating and working each piece many times to reach the desired shape. I apply a torched and/or traditional oxidized patina, and finish most work with a tough automotive topcoat for durability and possible outside placement.
I’m known for my public installations in Port Angeles: The triumphant upstream journey of 21 salmon on the Landing Mall's spiral staircase, a 10' copper fountain in the great hall of the Elwha Klallam Heritage Center, and a collaborative mixed-media piece in the Clallam County Courthouse all celebrate the return of the legendary Elwha River salmon. My 20’ copper and stainless-steel sculptural sign above the entrance to the Feiro Marine Life Center on City Pier features a Giant Pacific Octopus, Dungeness Crab, and Elwha Chinooks, while inside stands my floor-to-ceiling story pole bench called “Kindred Spirits,” a tribute to the two men whose vision brought us the Marine Center.
Traditionally copper was highly valued by Northwest Tribes, possessing supernatural qualities. I feel that way too, and I am especially grateful to have my work displayed by the Lower Elwha Klallam Tribe, the Jamestown S’Klallam Tribe, the Makah Tribe, the Suquamish Tribe, and the Muckleshoot Tribe.
Free standing three-dimensional sculpture inspires me most now, and I’m also having fun experimenting with patinas. My sculptures may be combined with carved cedar, abalone, and/or stone to create mixed media pieces. I love commissions, but right now I’m busy creating a kinetic sculpture and other new outdoor garden features for ArtFusion. And Frog has come calling!
I’ve been lucky to have several local gallery shows over the years (most recently a solo show at the Port Angeles Fine Art Center this spring,) but I most enjoy bringing out my stump and hammer to meet people and demonstrate my craft. You may have seen me at NW art festivals, hammering away in our award-winning booth. My partner Leya is an integral force in my life and work, and we both hope to see you at ArtFusion in September!
Contact us: firstname.lastname@example.org 360.912.1193