Gregory Glasson: Master of Sculptural Arts
By Annie O'Neill
From Issue 24: Fall 2014
The creative odyssey of Gregory Glasson began in Capetown, South Africa, rounded the Cape of Good Hope to Durban, continued northward to London, and finally crossed the Atlantic to the NYC environs, Canada and Central America before settling in Gardiner. This classically-trained sculptor took many exciting detours that influenced the rich artistic life he leads today.
Gregory was brought up as an outdoorsman-surfing in the Indian Ocean, down-river kayaking, wandering the Southern part of Africa on safaris that exposed him to wildlife, otherworldly land forms and the wonders of unspoiled nature. His father was a civil engineer who gravitated to sculpture in his retirement, exposing his young son to sculpture.
Greg went on to art school in Durban where he became aware of the political upheavals apartheid was bringing to South Africa. It was time to leave, and in 1972 he went to London where he assisted South African and Royal Academy sculptors, and travelled extensively throughout Europe, self-educating himself in its museums, architecture and classical ruins.
It was his good fortune to travel to Long Island to set up a sister studio for his South African London mentor and from there he began a long and varied career in the sculptural arts. In the 1980s he owned Alva Museum Reproductions, a company making fine-art replicas for the Metropolitan Museum, the Louvre and others. He also started the New York Art Foundry in Long Island City, casting fine art bronze sculptures for up and coming NY sculptors. At the same time, his own sculpture commission work was taking off and his works are now found in NYC, Long Island, Cape Cod, Washington and Chicago.
In the late 80s he was approached by the then-editor of National Geographic to do replicas of Mayan stellae, altars, and artifacts for preservation purposes in Central American countries. The composite replicas would be exhibited while the originals were preserved from further damage from acid rain and looting.
He started work at Tallix Beacon in 1993, as president, and after two years changed positions to work on special project management and sales and start a new division that did restoration and maintenance on large and small sculptures. The two 24-foot DaVinci horses now in Milan and Grand Rapids were his projects. He has worked with Claes Oldenburg, Roy Lichtenstein, Robert Morris and many well-known contemporary sculptors. Before leaving Tallix in 2002, Greg brought the use of 3D Computer modeling to the foundry and worked on concept development, delivery and installation of sculpture worldwide. He worked for Polich Art Foundry for two and a half years and then went in to his own consulting and “anything sculptural” business. Greg lived in Cold Spring before discovering “the most spectacular Shawangunk landscape.” He has lived in Gardiner since 2007 and loves it here. He runs his own studio in Gardiner where he does commission work, mold-making and concept development for other sculptors and designers. His hands-on odyssey continues unabated! www.glassonsculptureworks.com.