Story of a Cincinnati Sculptor

by Tom Tsuchiya & Dan Callis

A metal sculpture titled The Spirit of Christ by artist Tom Tsuchiya was dedicated on September 18, 2014 at the Earl and Virginia Green Art Gallery on the campus of Biola University. President Barry Corey, Provost and Senior Vice President David Nystrom, art professor Dan Callis and Marilyn Long of the Long Foundation dedicated the sculpture in honor of former art department chair Loren Baker, who died at the end of the fall 2013 semester.  The Spirit of Christ is a visual representation of the feeding of the five thousand, Tsuchiya said. The sculpture incorporates 12 elements that represent the baskets that were used by Jesus and his disciples to help feed the five thousand.


Dan Callis has been professionally active in the art community since 1983. He exhibits regionally and nationally on an ongoing basis and has had his work included in international exhibitions in England and Italy. He received his MFA from Claremont Graduate University in 1986. On faculty at Biola University since 1987, he has also taught at USC and a number of area community colleges. He currently maintains a studio in downtown Los Angeles. His work is heavily influenced by a social consciousness that informs the subject matter as well as the process. Issues ranging from developmental disabilities, ecological stewardship and faith-based narratives are evidenced in the work on an ongoing basis.

Tom Tsuchiya also known as Norikazu is an American artist who creates public sculpture. He is best known for bronze sculptures for Major League Baseball and the National Football League. Tsuchiya created four life-size bronze sculptures of Cincinnati Reds players at Great American Ball Park in Cincinnati, Ohio U.S. These sculptures, depicting Crosley Field era players involved in an imaginary ballgame, represent Joe Nuxhall pitching to Frank Robinson, Ernie Lombardi catching and Ted Kluszewski on deck. All four sculptures were completed by 2004. In 2009, Tsuchiya was commissioned to design and sculpt the Madden Most Valuable Protectors Award to honor the NFL's best offensive line. He created this bronze trophy as a departure from the traditional award design, integrating figures of the players into the trophy's base. 

In September 2012, Tsuchiya completed Lux Mundi, a 15.8 meter (52 feet) tall statue of Jesus for Solid Rock Church in Monroe, Ohio. This work replaced the statue of Jesus that was destroyed by a lightning strike in June, 2010. In March 2010, Tsuchiya created Atlas Recycled, a sustainable art sculpture that doubles as a recycling container for aluminum cans and plastic bottles. The 2.1 meter (7 feet) tall sculpture depicts the mythical Greek Titan Atlas bearing the earth on his shoulders. In addition to being a recycling aid, Atlas itself is made mainly from reused materials. Pieces of 14 used atlases and road maps cover the entire surface of the sculpture. Most of the polymer and steel that form the structure were reused from the creation of some of the artist's previous sculptures.

Tsuchiya says of his work “I am known for creating sculptures that have a sense of vitality. To achieve this vitality, nature is my main source of inspiration. I abstract from the rich and varied shapes and movement of people and animals. From these abstractions, I develop ideas that enable me to instill that living, breathing quality in my sculptures. My childhood fascination with Greek art led to my interest in sculpting. While I pursued a B.A. in Classical Civilization from the University of Cincinnati, I apprenticed with the master sculptor Richard J. Miller. “


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