Sculpture for New Orleans
Poydras Street Corridor: Artist Biographies

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Enrique Alférez was born in Mezquital Zacatecas, Mexico in 1901. After serving with the Revolutionary Forces in Northern Mexico under Pancho Villa, he moved to El Paso, Texas in 1920 where he worked in an art store and apprenticed under a photographer. He then moved to Chicago where he attended the Art Institute of Chicago from 1924 to 1927 where he also worked as a wood relief sculptor until 1929. Alférez came to New Orleans in 1929 where he began work at Tulane University. He served with the U.S. Army Transport Services from 1943 to 1944. He lived and worked after the war in New York, San Francisco, Mexico City, Guadalajara, Cuernavaca, Morelia, and New Orleans, completing hundreds of works in stone, bronze, plaster, wood, metal, terra cotta and papier mâché. He passed away in New Orleans, La. in 1999.


Carlo Borer is a Swiss artist and designer, born in 1961 in Solothurn, Switzerland. He is autodidactic, or self-taught, as an artist. He has been working freelance since 1981. He began his career working in mediums of figurative paintings and drawings, and 3D works of polyester and electrical light, as well as building objects out of stainless steel and aluminum. He has since begun designing with computer graphic software to construct sculptures and furniture, as well as functional objects such as espresso machines. He currently lives in Wanswil and operates his studio in Zuchwil, both in northern Switzerland.


David Borgerding received his BFA from Kendall College of Art and Design and MFA from the Savannah College of Art and Design. He moved to New Orleans, La. 2000. Borgerding promptly organized a metal studio to make sculpture, focusing on fabricated bronze and stainless steel. In 2008, he moved to his current studio, in the Irish Channel, living just a few blocks away with his wife, Gogo, and a handful of critters.


Jim Gallucci has been a sculptor for more than 35 years. He is a graduate of LeMoyne College, where he received a BA in English, and of Syracuse University, where he received a BFA and MFA in Sculpture. He has worked as an art instructor at the University of North Carolina at Greensboro and the University of Alabama at Huntsville. He was an Exhibit Designer for the North Carolina Zoological Park in Asheboro, NC. Presently, Gallucci works in his Greensboro, N.C., studio. Most of his pieces are commissions for public, corporate and residential spaces around the country. His work has been seen at Pier Walk Sculpture Show in Chicago Ill, and has been selected for such international shows as the World Expo ’88 in Brisbane Australia and the 7th Annual Henry Moore Grand Prize Exhibition at the Utsukushi-ga-hara Open-Air Museum in Hakone Japan and the UBE Japan. Other projects include the “Veteran’s Memorial Archways” for Rockville, Md.; the “Gate of Opportunity” for South Trust Bank building in Jacksonville Fla.; ”Play Ball,” the baseball gates for UNC-Greensboro; the gates for First Horizon Park, the home of the Greensboro Grasshoppers Baseball team; and in 2009, the 55-feet talk Oak Leaf Light Towers in Raleigh, N.C.


John Henry attended the University of Kentucky, University of Chicago and the Art Institute of Chicago, where he earned a BFA. He has created some of the largest contemporary metal sculpture in the United States, and his sculpture is designed, engineered, fabricated and erected by his own studio in Chatanooga, Tenn. He is a Distinguished Professor of Art at Chattanooga State College; and has also taught at the University of lowa, University of Wisconsin, University of Chicago and the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. He currently is a curator for the Outdoor Museum of Art at Chattanooga State College, and serves on the Board of Trustees for the International Sculpture Center.


Mia Kaplan's work is driven by her love for art as a visual journal. Her inspirations come from the environment of southeastern Louisiana where she currently lives. Kaplan's work explores different avenues including plein-air paintings of Big Branch Marsh, botanical illustrations of native plants, abstraction, small- and large-scale sculpture. In all avenues, what ties her work together is the sensitivity to movement and color she uses to reflect her natural surroundings. Kaplan received a degree in Drawing and Printmaking from the Memphis College of Art, and has held residencies at Big Cat Press in Chicago, Louisiana Artworks in New Orleans, and the New Orleans Botanical Gardens. An award-winning artist, her work can be found in the collections of the University of Memphis, New Orleans Botanical Gardens, Rod-n-Reel, The City of Slidell, and in the private collections all over the world.


Jason Kimes received his BFA degree in Sculpture from the University of Southern Mississippi in 2002, and his MFA degree in Sculpture from Southern Illinois University Carbondale in 2005.  Kimes works in cast iron, bronze and aluminum, welded steel, wood and found objects. His work is concerned with humanity, the individual and societies as a whole, and its relationship with the physical space, be it the built environment or the natural world. Kimes predominately uses the human figure at life size to illustrate the concepts in his work, allowing the public to visualize themselves in place of the figure to bring a new understanding of the surrounding environment. He lives and maintains a studio in Laurel, Miss.


Martin Payton was born in New Orleans, Louisiana, in 1948. He earned an undergraduate degree in art at Xavier University in 1973, where he studied with New Orleans sculptor John T. Scott. After completing a graduate degree at the Otis Art Institute (Los Angeles, Ca.) in 1975, Payton returned to New Orleans to join the faculty at Xavier. His teaching assignments have included Florida A&M and Southern universities.

In 1980, Payton discovered a preference for three-dimensions and began to produce sculpture in welded steel. This work has been about exploring the possibilities of abstracted shape and space as cultural “signatures.” He chooses to assemble his sculpture from found steel elements whose shapes and time worn surfaces combine to suggest transformation, survival, and spiritual resilience. The elegant lyricism of his sculpture belies its blunt execution, referring to West African mythology and particularly the artistry of African-American musicians, whose work has been significantly influential for Payton. The sculptures, often named for musicians or references from discographies, are not intended as portraitures, but seek to articulate their content and individual essence.

He has been received a number of awards and commissions, and placed sculptures in public and private collections, including the New Orleans Museum of Art, Contemporary Arts Center (New Orleans) and the Ogden Museum of Southern Art.

Payton’s work contains a sense of assurance and maturity born of conviction, achieved through a 33-year journey of introspection and production.


James Surls graduated from the Sam Houston State Teacher's College in 1965, and from Cranbrook Academy of Art with an MFA in 1968. He taught at Southern Methodist University in Dallas from 1969 to 1976, then moved to Splendora, Texas with his wife, Charmaine Locke. Surls relocated to Colorado in 1997 where they currently reside and operate James Surls Studio. Through his art has evolved through the years, one constant is Surls' frequent use of symbols: eyes, diamonds, needles, knives, flowers, spirals, bridges and houses. His wood-and-steel sculptures are in the collections of a number of major art museums, including the Museum of Modern Art, the Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, and the Dallas Museum of Art.


Ed Wilson was born in Arcadia, La., November 11, 1953. He earned a BFA in Sculpture from Louisiana State University in 1979 and a MFA in 1984 from The University of Houston. He has exhibited widely in the Uunites States, Europe, and Latin America. He lives and works in Houston, Texas.


Russell Whiting was born in 1955 in Bastrop, Texas, and raised in Louisiana. He began sculpting in his early twenties. Whiting is self-taught, classically oriented in subject matter, and strongly influenced by classical forms. Starting in 1990, he began applying the steel working techniques he learned in the oil fields of the Gulf of Mexico to his sculpture. These unique techniques have transformed his processes and ushered in a vast range of new possibilities. He notes his own subconscious dialogue is the ultimate source of my work. My compositions are influenced by many factors, including religion, ancient cultures, cinema, and the work of other artists. These influences are combined, mutated and reborn with no regard to logic or to their cultural origins. The figures flow from dream and fantasy. Whiting does not interpret or analyze them during their creation.


Wesley Wofford began his art career in the Valdosta State University BFA program, but left after earning his Associate Degree; moving to Hollywood, Ca., to pursue a career in the motion-picture industry. His interest in hyper-realism led him to developing his own techniques with silicone for the makeup effects industry. He has worked on many major motion pictures and television shows and won the 2005 Academy Award for Arts and Sciences Technical Achievement. In 2002, he moved to the mountains of North Carolina with his wife and two children, where he operates his sculpture studio in a 2,300 square-foot barn. In 2011, he became an elected member of The National Sculpture Society.

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