Jake Goertzen BIO
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Jake Goertzen has lived and worked in Horndean, Manitoba, since 1994 when he purchased a former rural school property there. To showcase his work, he repurposed the 3-classroom school into a spacious residence and gallery in the years from 2009 to 2018. He produces work on commission as well as for his own interest to further develop his sculpture park and gallery. The latest additions to his sculpture park are an 8-foot long classical guitar made of steel, a small abstract steel sculpture, as well as a large steel Christmas card featuring a Madonna and Child motif.
Jake the Sculptor’s second property in Horndean serves as a large metal working studio. Goertzen works in a wide variety of media: Bronze, steel, terra cotta, wax, cultured marble, stone, concrete; and he has done numerous snow sculptures at various winter festivals, including the Festival du Voyageur in Winnipeg, where he received 2nd place. Competent in representational work - some of which is displayed in his gallery - he also works in abstract designs. Some of his large abstract pieces are for sale at present at Oeno Gallery near Belleville Ontario.
The artist is well-known for his large sculptures. His largest project to date is a fabricated 7-ton steel tree with a 1-ton eagle perched on top. Other large works include a 1-ton bison on River Road near St. Andrews, MB, a 1-ton great grey owl, an 8-foot high Sasquatch, (both of which are in Portage la Prairie, MB, a double life-size male turkey on a private property in the Pembina Hills, a 7-foot high peacock at the International Peace Gardens, and a variety of ornamental railings and arbors in many private collections. He has a steel sculpture in the Gallery in the Park in Altona, a bronze over-life sculpture at the Morden Civic Centre, and a small deconstructed bison and a fairly large abstract work that is installed in the Royal Bank tower at 201 Portage Avenue in Winnipeg on the 31st floor.
Becoming an artist came in mid-life for Goertzen. In order to take a break from his business, he began to indulge in artistic pursuits and studied art at private art schools in Los Angeles. Increasingly, he drew life and sculpted from life by working in the terra cotta medium. The process of creating art opened up new dimensions of creativity, and he found a renewed purpose in life. This early success so inspired him that he sold his growing business in Ontario and decided to become a sculptor in 1992. For several years, a regular job paid his bills while public interest in his work began to grow – and commissions followed.
Goertzen will take on nearly any challenge, regardless of how difficult it might seem. For example, he has repaired a marble Buddha sculpture, repaired a large trophy made of Brittanica, and created charming little figures of children at play. And yet he is not daunted at all by monumental scale projects. Probably his finest sculpture is a life size mother with a new baby titled "Infant Joy". He loves doing portraits and sculptures of human subjects through which he can connect with people deeply. And while the role of art certainly includes aesthetic enhancement, his vision for art and its expression is that it will touch our hearts, minds, and souls, and inspire us to become compassionate human beings who aspire to become the best we can be.