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Thoughts & Opinions

Camp B by Tracy Powell

One great party. Camp Brotherhood Symposium 2012 was kicked off by a parade of thunderstorms
on first Friday that charged the air with enthusiasm. That energy carried us through the week, but the prevailing mood was quite mellow, like the quiet showers that swept the field after we left.Kay Devloo, Arliss Newcomb, Leon White, Jo Ann Duby, Michael Yeaman

25 years on, our group is maturing, and this Camp Brotherhood Symposium really showed us who we are, and what turns us on. Our instructors were the very best in every aspect of stone carving. What art college could offer such a lineup? Deborah Wilson, Mary Jo Anderson, George Pratt, Alphonso Rodriguez Medina, Ruth Mueseler, Tamara Buchanan, Arliss Newcomb, JoAnne Duby and Richard Hestekind. All in the same place, all giving us the very best of their wisdom and inspiration, and all great friends. Folks, we are truly fortunate.

Ken Barne' Truck after unloading Stone Auction piecesAnd who made it happen? Barbara Davidson organized and led the team of able providers who anticipated our every need, and put together a seamless fabric of events that appeared to just happen, but was in fact carefully crafted and skillfully guided from beginning to end. Pat Barton and Lavina Streeter, assisted by Rich Andler and toolmasters Tom Urban and Dan Michael, kept us well supplied, well supported, and safe. Randy Zieber brought great stone and great tools, Marenakos Rock Center supplied the granite for the group piece, and lots of other goodies. Leon White orchestrated the field gallery so beautifully, and even got us on TV! Renee Roberts kept track of everything and everybody. Al Mangold outdid himself as auctioneer. Carolyn Anderson's fantastic massages kept us going. Vic Picou was everywhere, sharing his
 experience and assisting in all the activities. And Bruce (didn't get his last name), who had just visited on Saturday to see what was going on, came back on Sunday to help clean up. The Camp Brotherhood staff pitched in to build the stone circle, helped make the sculpture walk a booming success and even gave us a break on the costs so more people could afford to come. There were many more who added their help, and I apologize for not naming everyone.Leon White and Therese Dougherty wait patiently for the stone auction to start

Arliss Newcomb with 'Glow II' cut from CalciteIt was a week to remember, remarkable in many ways: Deborah Wilson brought us a complete Jade carving studio, and showed us how to operate all the tools, and let us play in it for a week!

George Pratt opened up his bottomless bag of tricks, and fired us up, striking sparks from the granite, and guiding us with full power to carve out an Orca dorsal fin, that now is swimming through the Camp B soil toward the upper fire pit.

Mary Jo Anderson opened her arms and shared with us her passion for marble, reminding us how precious is the life in the stone itself. And as is her way, she reached out to each one of us with genuine care, to encourage our own expressions of that passion.

Alphonso quietly demonstrated once again his flawless technique, and the true joy of hand carving fine marble. And several youngsters moved up to the big kids table.

Old friends, whom we hadn't seen in years, dropped by to share in the party atmosphere. Many more lovely sculptures were born. And, yes, there were lots of hugs.President Gerda Lattey beside'Shunyata' (Zero-ness)

After all the high expectations and hard work, I think this symposium was so wonderfully successful simply because we were all there together doing what we have always done and doing it better each time we meet: sharing the love of stone carving and fellow stone carvers. The Rock Family is alive and well and growing.

For all of us who were the beneficiaries of all this planning and hard work, and who got to have great fun all week, we joyously thank you!

Editors' Note: Tracy Powell modestly did not mention his own contribution as a mentor and instructor. He tirelessly worked alongside the other teachers who made this year's Camp Brotherhood such a memorable and welcoming success.

Camp B by Leon White


Camp B 2012 Art Walk

By describing our 25th Anniversary at Camp Brotherhood as WONDERFULLY FABULOUS!!! I am hoping that all who attended felt the same. First timers, whether beginners or practicing sculptors, and past members who came to see familiar faces, receive hugs, and to become rejuvenated in the spirit that we all share.

For all of you who volunteer graciously to make this all happen without a glitch, OUR HATS ARE OFF TO YOU WITH A SALUTE AND A DEEP BOW! Tracy Powell has already told you about many of the wonderful people and instructors who helped to make our 25th anniversary symposium a success. Let me add a little to that.

Pat Barton spent a huge amount of time and energy building FORTY, yes, I said FORTY new cedar sculpture pedestals! Those pedestals gave the sculpture field a professional look that added so much to our presentation.

And thank you, Renee Roberts (The BEST office gal!) for all your office organizational skills. We especially want to thank you for developing and producing the eye-catching Sculpture Walk Poster that we used to advertise the event.

And speaking of advertising publicity, this year saw the best press coverage we have ever had. Renee and I hounded the local newspapers to print articles before Camp opened and a local TV station featured us on an Arts and Entertainment evening show. All of this helped us to sell thirteen sculptures for $5400. Auction Fun

Other records were broken as well. Our live auction, stone auction and silent auction together brought in an additional $9,550. We received money from one more source: a $2,000 grant for equipment from 4Culture, a Seattle Arts Funding Organization. We are now on their roster for future grant opportunities.

Finally, I want to give a huge thanks to our vendors whose generous donations helped make our auction such a grand success. Concut Diamond Products, Master Wholesale of Seattle  and Will Robinson Stones.

Ave Maria Oratory

In the city that a university is building  

Ave Maria Oratory Buildiong

The city of Ave Maria is just 45 miles southwest of Lake Okeechobee in southern Florida. Well, it’s not quite a city yet, but the people at the Ave Maria Catholic University, after opening their doors in 2007, are working on that.

The campus still has that new smell and is gorgeously laid out with expanding rings of wide avenues with plenty of room for expansion in this flat as a floor landscape of row crop farms and wetlands.

At the center of all this is the University’s tall, elegantly designed Oratory; a modern chapel built with a sense of style for the edification of students and visitors alike. It is a building full of light and lots of vertical space. But it is the outside of the building that we have come here to see – that part just above the three, big front doors, to be exact.

Ave Maria OratoryStanding at those three simple gothic arches, and looking up past the twelve gilded apostles, you find yourself staring up at 54 tons of snow white Carrara marble. Each of the fifteen pieces of stone (originally 120 tons) was personally selected from the Cava Michelangelo by the artist. You may have heard of him. He is Márton Váró, a world renowned sculptor from Romania and Hungry. Márton carved each of the largest pieces on site; all of the work taking nearly three years and at a cost of over three million dollars in private donations.  Ave Maria Oratory

The 25 foot tall bas relief, done in a simple but powerful style, shows the annunciation of Mary the mother of Jesus and the archangel Michael with an ascending dove at the apex.

For more information on the sculpture, search: Ave Maria Oratory sculpture

For more information on Márton Váró: go to his website:

You can also find videos on the YouTube Channel: