Brad Vanneman, Sculptor


Presently I'm working in a well-equipped studio in my home in Northern Delaware. With Philadelphia thirty minutes away and having Washington, DC and New York withing two hours drive I have ample sculptural inspiration. Nine out of ten days I am working on some form of sculpture be it commercial, private or speculative.

My career developed after spending 7 years apprenticing for the American sculptor Charles Parks. From him I learned the techniques that have served sculptors for centuries and still form the basis for contemporary sculpture.

Until that period I was involved in graphic art, and illustration. These years were important in forming an appreciation for 2 dimensional art and a preference for 3 dimensional art. There are many occasions where both disciplines merge.

My formal art training and degree were provided by the dedicated and patient instructors of the Atlanta College of Art. I remember it like it was yesterday.

I've been influenced by no less than 50 especially talented people since I first came to think of myself as an artist. I am trying my hardest to insure safe passage of all their collective wit and wisdom. Where it ultimately ends up has yet to be determined.


Most recently I've had five productive years working in the studio of my good friend, old boss and mentor, Charles Cropper Parks. It was in 2007 that Charles hung up his calipers and apron for the last time. At that time he was 85. Still a force physically, his amazing mind was being corrupted by Alzheimer's disease. He asked me to "move in" and assist with a portrait sculpture he was struggling on. There really wasn't too much out of place about it but you could see his skills were slipping away. As the first weeks went along we got the portrait finished and approved. He had become quiet and more reserved but there were still glimmers of his former self. Often when he heard a particular piece of music but especially when his wife Inge was present. At this point I think he felt he could retire fully and was content to come in just a few hours a day. I'm sure it was hard to step away after all those years.

So here I was in a first class studio, overlooking Brandywine Creek, surrounded by 300 of Charles’s collected models. As was his habit he had a few "irons in the fire" when this change occurred so I directed my attention to convincing these clients I was worthy of their trust. Charles's endorsement carried the day but I still had to come up with designs and execute.

Over the next 5 years I completed a life-size portrait bust, a half life-size group of three figures, a life-size portrait figure, a six foot globe with five life-size children accompanying, and a half life-size model of Archangel Michael.

Images of these you will find on a separate page (under construction) devoted to this period and dedicated to the memory of Charles who passed away October 25, 2012. He was 90.