A Raven Celebrates Inventing the Wheel in a Sculpture by Paul Rhymer
The sculpture artist conveys his feelings and experiences of animals in his work
A SMITHSONIAN TAXIDERMIST
“My mother is a painter, and my father was a taxidermist. So, I painted and did taxidermy all through junior and high school, and got a two-year studio art degree at the local community college. A job opening as a taxidermist and model maker became available, and it offered me a career path in museums, so I moved into that position. Once I started doing taxidermy and model making, my own art gradually moved toward sculpture. Many wildlife sculptors have a background as taxidermists. It’s a very natural transition.”
“I’m an avid fisher, hunter and bird watcher. Being out in the field year-round gives me tons of experience and ideas for my work. Birds are a particular love for me— ravens, crows, owls and hawks offer a lifetime worth of ideas. I try to create sculptures that convey my feelings and experiences of animals and use them to express my feelings about the world around me.”
THE CLEVER RAVEN
“I had been seeing this pile of millstones at this local store. While I was thinking about a new raven piece, I thought it would look great: a big, black, organic bird shape on a smooth, round light gray shape. I thought, ravens are so smart they probably invented it. Then the idea that it should be bragging about that took hold. So, I came up with the title ‘Raven Celebrates Inventing the Wheel,’ and that idea drove the sculpture.”
Rhymer just finished a trio of great horned owls (entitled “3 Outlaw Wisemen: Waylon, Willie and Merle”) and is now working on a new trio of ravens.