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 back 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, and 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 fro 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 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 soliders 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."(2)
PHOTOGRAPHER: Barry Chad.
DATE: 29 July 1994.