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Lesson 1 : Images and Ideas

Planning Together

Because Luis Jiménez' large public sculptures are commissioned by cities and organizations, he needs to be able to show his ideas to committees or boards before he produces them. Drawings and models help others imagine how his finished sculptures might look.

For over five years Jiménez has been developing an image for a memorial to Cleveland Firefighters. Several years ago he produced a small three-dimensional model showing a fireman attacking a towering flame. After the events of September 11, 2001, the Cleveland firefighters wanted a stronger focus on teamwork. Jiménez modified the design to include two firefighters working together.

The artist and a representative of the Cleveland Fire Department have communicated with each other throughout the process of refining the image for the memorial. The firefighter makes sure Jiménez gets all the details of fire equipment and procedures just right. The artist checks out ideas by sending drawings and measurements to the firefighters. Here we see a larger and a smaller firefighter standing by a cut out of the base for the memorial to confirm its height and the prominence of names that will appear on it.

Luis Jiménez has been commissioned to make a huge sculpture of a rearing mustang to stand at the entrance of Denver's new airport. The completed sculpture will be much too large to be produced in Jiménez' 16' high clay studio. He has made a 1/4 scale model to work out how to construct the final piece in three sections: head, legs, and body.

This steel armature will support the legs and will be bolted to another armature built into the body section, when all three pieces are complete and assembled.

This painted quarter-scale model provides the viewer with a sense of how the large-scale mustang will appear.