North Side: Roberto Clemente
CAPTION: Statue of Roberto Clemente at
Three Rivers Stadium.
NOTES: The exhibit offers biographical information on Roberto Clemente
and a suggestion for further reading on the statue.
Another photograph provides a front view of the statue.
SCULPTOR: Susan Wagner.
"Since early childhood, Susan has been drawing, painting and
sculpting. She used to dig clay from the ground around her Pittsburgh
home as a youngster and create little sculptures that she would dry in
the sun. Her love of art drew her to earn a degree in fine arts from the
University of Pittsburgh where toward the end of her education she
picked up a piece of clay and again discovered her true calling, an
instant mesh of talent and medium. 'It felt right from the very
first day,' she recalls.
"Wagner, a resident of nearby Penn Hills, started her freelance
business in 1983 and it quickly became full-time when word of her
speed and dependability spread. She created bas reliefs, busts and
small sculptures for companies across Ohio, Virginia, Pennsylvania
and New York. Some well-known personalities she has transformed into
art include Bob and Dolores Hope, Tom Hanks, Arthur Ashe and Lou
Costello. Her portrait of Pope John Paul II hangs in the Vatican
Garden. From 1984 to present, Susan has sculpted every inductee in
the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. Her first
life-size sculpture was that of the male and female soldiers for
the 14th Quartermaster Battalion of Greensburg, PA, which
commemorates the 13 soldiers who lost their lives in the Gulf War.
"Her latest work is, of course, the 12-foot bronze statue of Roberto
Clemente, which was commissioned by the Pirates and is being
dedicated here at Three Rivers Stadium this afternoon. In creating
Roberto, Wagner--who never saw Clemente play in person--poured over
photos and watched virtually every available piece of videotape to
try and establish her vision for the project. Then perched on a
scaffold at the Tallix Foundry in Beacon, NY, she set about the
business of transforming more than 2,500 pounds of clay into what
you see before you today.
"Wagner is a hardworking and dependable artist who can capture a
likeness and make emotions tangible. That is her true strength.
'I connect with my sculpture,' she said. 'The information I gather
about the subject and its personality goes through my hands and
into the clay.'"(1)
PHOTOGRAPHER: Barry Chad.
DATE: 29 July 1994.