"Allegorical Art" is a term James Muir uses to describe his work, which is filled with symbology to help create a heightened social, political and spiritual awareness. "The allegorical symbolism in my sculptures bridges the centuries of history to make contemporary statements about the human condition, in order to exemplify the highest qualities of man. My work speaks of Duty, Honor, Courage, Liberty and Justice, but above all, it speaks of Truth and the ultimate triumph of the human spirit".
We accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover Credit Cards
News and Events James Muir Bronze Sculptor
|WORKING STUDIO/GALLERY ENGAGES COLLECTORS
J.N. Muir Studio/Gallery is now located at Hozho Plaza in the heart of Sedona’s Gallery District and is the Working Studio and Gallery for local Sculptor, James N. Muir. Depending on the projects he is working on, you will be able to catch him “at work” most days. In the last year, they have expanded the gallery to include a private viewing room for collectors to consider their individual selections, relax, and watch a 10 minute video on bronze to help understand the process, beginning with the artist working with models for the initial clay.
Muir, who describes his sculptures as “Allegorical” captures the highest and best in human character. From dramatic and poignant tablesize to monumental historical and contemporary subjects, it is an interesting, exciting, and educational experience for collectors when they visit. Observing the creative process from the “beginning” offers visitors an opportunity to appreciate the beauty, as well as, the technical side, of the different styles, subjects, and varying levels of creativity involved in sculpture. Meeting the artist allows the visitor to get a sense of the personality and philosophy that is reflected in his art and a greater enjoyment of both the artist and his work. James Muir has over 20 lifesize and monumental sculptures in public locations throughout Arizona and over 60 throughout the country. Some of his larger works, lifesize and monumental, are also on display at the studio’s outdoor patio and sculpture garden.
The public is invited to visit the newly expanded studio at Hozho, daily. There is also an evening reception 1st Friday every month 5-7:30 pm. Call for more info: cell# 520/991-9147 or 928/284-3123.
|JAMES N. MUIR-ARIZONA GOVERNOR'S ART AWARD NOMINEE 2009
Arizona sculptor, Allegorical Artist James N. Muir was selected as a "Nominee for the Arizona Governor's Art Award 2009". Muir states "It is truly an honor, I deeply appreciate the recognition for my body of work these last 29 years, and to be placed in the company of such noteworthy and qualified individuals".
Muir is collected nationally and internationally, with over 20 lifesize/monumental sculptures in Arizona alone. Several of those pieces are located in the Phoenix/Scottsdale area and include: Maricopa County Sheriff's Memorial "They Serve Well" in downtown Phoenix; Scottsdale Healthcare Hospitals "Caduceus" at Shea and Osborn locations; "The Newsboy" in downtown Mesa; and "Quo Vadis" at All Saints Episcopal on Central Avenue. Other Arizona locations with his lifesize and monumental are: Sedona, Prescott, Flagstaff, and Greer. James Muir's career began in Sedona, Arizona some 30 years ago and while he has established a major presence with his monuments in public areas throughout Arizona, he is as widely collected in other parts of the country. New installations in other parts of the country include: New York-West Point Jefferson Library "Thomas Jefferson 1802", Louisville, Kentucky-Sons of The American Revolution Headquarters "Sons of Liberty-1775", Chicago-"The American Pieta", and Dallas, Texas "Walk With Me" (20 ft. high), along with "Colonel Travis-The Line" for the Bush Presidential Library.
James Muir believes we are all given a path of service to humanity and considers his talents as his own way for him to contribute in a meaningful way. In addition to his sculpture, Muir wrote a book "Lanterns Along The Path" that was selected for the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award in the Inspirational Category. Another long-term goal which Muir has finally realized, is in creating the non-profit organization The Human Liberty Foundation, which among other activities, provides scholarships to art students and annually recognizes people serving the cause of freedom in their own way.
The Human Liberty Foundation sponsored a table at the 2009Arizona Governor's Art Award held at the Arizona Biltmore Resort April 14, 2009 that was a grand affair with over 700 people in attendance.
Billye McEntire, John and Sherry Boyle,
John Kleinheinz, John Beresford, and James Muir
Bill West, Dr. Lon and Linda Mellijor
James Muir, Brenda Sperduti
|All photo captions read L-R ... Click on above phots to view them larger screen-size|
|James N. Muir
Allegorical Artist/Author James N Muir has recently made it full circle back to the inspiring red rocks of Arizona ,where he is opening a new working studio at the stunning pueblo-style Tequa Festival Marketplace in the Village of Oak Creek.
Muir first arrived in Sedona over 27 years ago. His love for the West became the catalyst for a new-found sculpting career----a talent that could have been forever lost had he not followed his passion.
He left Sedona in 1988 and returned in 1990, then left a second time in 1995. Always seeking to expand his personal and artistic growth, his journey has finally brought him back again to Sedona, the "home" where his heart has always been.
Sedona is Muir's inspiration for some of his finest sculptures, as well as his book - Lanterns Along The Path: The Allegorical Art of James N. Muir, which received the 2004 Pinnacle Book Achievement Award, he was especially pleased that it was in the "Inspirational Category". Muir states, "Far from being simply an ‘Art Book,' Lanterns Along The Path is actually a guidebook for fellow Travelers on our individual and collective journey through life. An inspiration for the never-ending quest for Truth, it is dedicated to all who have passed this way before and left their lanterns for us." Muir says many individuals have left a lantern "light" for him and he hopes to leave his own lanterns behind for others. His book is available nationally at Barnes & Noble, or directly, at www.jamesmuir.com.
A question often asked is "why do you call yourself an Allegorical Artist"? James quickly responds, "I have never wanted to be limited to one specific genre or style, I describe my art as being "Allegorical", filled with symbolism focusing on the higher attributes of mankind. That way I can use whatever subject matter fits what I am inspired to sculpt, be it historical or contemporary. Looking forward to continued growth as an artist and with a sincere desire to impact society, Muir says "I am back again where it all began in order to continue the Journey".
Studio opening October 2006 located at the Tequa Tower in the Village of Oak Creek, Sedona, Arizona…For information visit www.jamesmuir.com or call 928./284.3123
|After Harrowing Journey, Statue Comes To Rest At Jefferson Hall
By Emily Tower-Pointer View News
A ghostly figure wrapped in cloths secured with packing tape offered a mystery to visitors of the newly opened Jefferson Hall.
A brow and nose could be detected through the blanket draped over the figure's head. Bronze legs and a pair of shoes were visible, too, from where the figure stood in front of the building.
The commotion about who was standing seemingly bound and gagged in front of the new library, officially open less than a week at the time, moved inside, where the mystery began to be solved.
A granite pedestal awaited in the library's rotunda. Perhaps those legs and shoes were meant to rest upon the pedestal.
Sure enough, a team of movers hoisted the massive, puzzling figure onto the pedestal and promptly removed the protective wraps.
A familiar face smiled to the crowd.
The group of cadets, staff members and other on-lookers was greeted by the third president of the United States.
The statue portrays in detail - from the writing on a document to the design of a pinky ring - how Thomas Jefferson likely looked March 16, 1802, when he signed the law that established the U.S. Military Academy.
The rotunda in which Jefferson's statue rests is a gift from the class of 1968. The class' fundraising goal of $2.5 million to build the rotunda was exceeded, so the class spent the extra money on the statue and some other aesthetic details and commemorative plaques to come, Dutch Hostler, class vice president and chairman of the class gift committee, said.
James Nathan Muir, former class of 1968, was commissioned to sculpt the statue. Researching and sculpting the statue took two years, Muir's wife, Linda, said. Muir enlisted the help of a Jefferson re-enactor from Colonial Williamsburg, Va., to model and offer historical perspective.
"Nothing is by accident," Linda Muir said about the statue's designs. "He has on the right kind of clothing. Everything down to how the shoes are tied is historically accurate."
The Muirs came from Arizona to supervise the statue's installation. And while they had a rather uneventful trip to West Point, their bronze guest did not.
The statue, which travelled separately by truck, was "tested by fire, just like the real Thomas Jefferson was tested by fire," Hostler said, referring to Jefferson's library burning down.
The truck carrying the statue caught on fire in Indiana, and Jefferson was singed. But, cleaning restored the statue to pre-fire condition.
Seeing the as-good-as-new statue installed in its resting place was a good feeling for the artist, who considers the statue his gift to his former class and the academy.
The academy "cemented in me a code of honor and a never-flinching quest for and adherence to the Truth, with a capital T, in all things," Muir said.
Having such a noted figure and honored philosopher keeping watch over the library's entrance adds to the building's academic experience, Brig. Gen. Patrick Finnegan, the academy's dean, said.
James Muir unveiling life-size bronze of Thomas Jefferson at West Point
VETS President, Ricardo & James
|This is the realization of a project that began two years ago. The Veteran’s Memorial Rotunda Project completion Dedication will be Dec 7, 2012-USS Arizona Day, many UA and State/City Officials will be attending to express their gratitude of service by so many Veterans who have attended the University. The project’s first phase was realized May 30, 2011 with the installations completed of sculptures “Band of Brothers and Some Gave All” that symbolized the sacrifices made WWI-WWII and Korea-Vietnam, followed by the second phase with the donation of “Shield of America” November 11, 2011-Dedication was December 7, 2011. The quote, flag, and seal will complete the third phase envisioned. The Combat Paper Project taking place November 12-17th, 2012 is a continuation of the vision for the V.E.T.S. and the opportunities for events the Rotunda now offers. The Rotunda is now a more significant environment recognizing Veterans and their service to country and to hold Memorial Services, Events, etc. These would never have been accomplished were it not for the tireless efforts and commitment of Ricardo Pereyda and due to the generous sculpture donations of Mr. and Mrs. Thomas Lincoln and Mrs. and Mrs Jim Van Houten, along also with the Human Liberty ARTT (Artistic Responsibility To Truth) Foundation (James N. Muir)|
SCULPTURES DONATED TO UNIVERSITY OF ARIZONA STUDENT UNION VETERAN’S BUILDING ROTUNDA:
“Band of Brothers” and “Shield of America”
Lincoln indicated he donated the work because they felt it symbolizes the results of “staying the course” following such a tragedy….the American people are a Band of Brothers always ever-mindful of our true origin behind us and the ultimate objective ahead in pursuing our DUTY to our Supreme Commander (stated Tom Lincoln)
“Some Gave All”
Jim and Jeanne Kay Van Houten and two sons are all UA Alumni. Their donation is due to their very strong conviction and commitment to education and patriotism…..
Rotunda Bronze Wall Quote:
Quote-bronze lettering, donated by Tom and Cheryl Lincoln and HLAF-James Muir, State Seal and bronze U.S. Flag donated by HLAF
Article by Lynn Trombetta: University of Arizona V.E.T.S. Combat Paper Project and Workshop for local press 101312
Works by Bronze Sculpture Artist, James N. Muir stand in tribute to America's brave at The University of Arizona and watch over this year's events honoring veterans and celebrating the completion of the Veteran's Memorial Rotunda two-year project. Among the planned affairs is The Combat Paper Project Workshop and Art Exhibit sponsored by the Muir’s Human Liberty ARTT Foundation (HLAF). This special project that seeks to “give a voice to Veterans and helping build community” is being held at the University of Arizona this month. Throughout November visitors can see some of the same sculptures in the Sedona Gallery that will be on display in Tucson.
The Combat Paper Project’s Director, Drew Cameron explains, “We use traditional hand papermaking to facilitate intergenerational workshops with veterans, family members, and the non-veteran community in the transformation of clothing rags into paper, prints, books, and art. All of our experiences are carried in the woven threads. Through the hand papermaking process, the clothing is deconstructed, transformed and altered into paper sheets that accentuate these individual and collective stories.” The workshop will be held November 12-16 at the University and will culminate in an art exhibit in the Rotunda on November 17. www.combatpaper.org
Believing that “Art is not a mirror to reflect reality, but a hammer to shape it”, Muir champions the cause of liberty through his art. Muir states, “I have striven to design the elements of my patriotic sculptures into works that capture the courage and determination of brave men and women. Not as static sculptures, but as a dynamic statement about service to humanity.” In keeping with this dedication to Liberty, he and his wife, Linda, founded the Human Liberty ARTT Foundation (HLAF), a 501©3 non-profit organization in 2004. Based in Arizona, the foundation provides scholarships to students who can continue to raise awareness utilizing their own talent and dedication to "ARTT" (Artistic Responsibility To Truth”).
Muir's sculptures, "Band of Brothers", a WWII historical sculpture, "Some Gave All", a Vietnam era piece, and “Shield of America” on exhibit at the University of Arizona serve to keep the spirit and memories alive. The sites for the sculptures were chosen with the help of Ricardo Pereyda – President, UA Chapter Student Veterans of America for the V.E.T.S Office, and donations of Tom Lincoln and Jim Van Houten Families. For Pereyda, a student and veteran himself, who knows what challenges soldiers can face in transitioning to school and the “outside world” when they return, this has been an especially meaningful project.
Of interest is how the Student Union Memorial Center building, itself, pays tribute in both design and memorabilia to the battleship U.S.S. Arizona. Muir will be on hand again December 7th for U.S.S. Arizona Day Events, Bell Ringing, and dedication ceremonies of the UA Student Union Veteran's building Rotunda. This is one of the largest student unions in the country and also houses the veterans organization, V.E.T.S. (Veterans Education and Transition Services), a new office at the University that assists in making the transition from soldier to student smoother for veterans. There are over 1000 veterans on campus and the V.E.T.S. offices are intimately connected with every other office on campus, from administration to financial aid.
Muir, a Sedona, Arizona resident, where his career began in 1980, served in both the Army and the Air Force. Although Muir’s subjects range from historical to contemporary, through his patriotic sculptures he depicts the courage and sacrifice so many have made. In bronze works such as “The American Pieta”, “Band of Brothers”, “Duty”, “Cry Freedom”, “Sons of Liberty”, Cornerstones of Freedom”, Let Freedom Ring & Lil’ Liberty”, and “Athena’s Prayer”, the focus is not on war, but to honor Man’s courageous quest for Truth and Freedom.
Muir states, “The University of Arizona and V.E.T.S. are generously providing, through the Combat Paper Project, an opportunity for the Veterans to heal the emotional wounds of war while offering the rest of us, through our support, a means to express our appreciation for their courage and sacrifice. As an artist with military service of my own, I welcome being able to participate in this meaningful event.”
|J. N. Muir Sculpture Studio/Gallery will feature a month long exhibit, a “Tribute to America's Soldiers” in November. As a special Veteran’s Day tribute, the gallery is celebrating the arrival of the 8 foot tall version of Muir's sculpture, “Sons of Liberty-1775”. Muir’s works range from table size to monumental and include more than sixty life-size and monumental public sculptures throughout the United States and abroad, including over twenty in Arizona. For more information, please visit the gallery at 431 Hwy 179 in the Hozho Plaza, Sedona or the website www.jamesmuir.com.|
|Art of the Spirit December 1996 ART-TALK
Not Very Long Ago Most of the Art Created in Western Culture was made for and paid for by the Church . . . Is Anyone Out There Still Doing It?
|Sculptor, James Muir of Arizona has done a larger-than-life depiction of Jesus called Quo Vadis (Latin for "which way"). The piece leaves a lot of room for the kind of ambiguity Moroles speaks of, even though it was designed with deliberate allegory and symbol. To Muir there is no discrepancy between literal readings and what is underneath the surface of a piece. "There are symbols in the Christian religion that are universal, predating by centuries their adoption by Christianity. It's a sort of universality of symbols in all religions. I chose to depict the classic symbol which is the Christ." He felt it was time for Christ to "take his hair down," Muir says. He gave the figure blue eyes and reddish hair. "People say, ‘He didn't have blue eyes.' I say, ‘Really! You met him?' He's been nailed to a cross for 2,000 years now. I think it's time we take him down and really ask him, ‘What did you mean when you said that? What did you symbolize?'||
Quo Vadis by James Muir carries symbology both personal to the artist and universal to those who care to know.
|"To Muir, art like this is spiritual rather than specific to one religion. Quo Vadis, for instance, suggests mankind's journey back to God, he says. If it's done right spiritual art can move people forward on that trip. "It can open a little chink in people's belief systems to let them see the whole journey. For any artist to merely reinforce what is in the established belief system without helping people open up to greater possibilities is to do a disservice, I believe. But if the literal is what people need at a given time, so be it."
If people complain that today's artists take too much liberty with traditional religious subjects, Muir points out that when historically important religious art was being done the religion they depicted was a major advancement compared to what they had. "The trouble is that people see this as a destination and not just another step on the way up."
|(THIS ARTICLE WAS IN AUGUST/SEPTEMBER ART-TALK 1995
IN THE Art News column)
Does the current art market demand that artists avoid controversy and depict only popular or trendy subject matter in order to make a living?
Can an artist who paints polluted landscapes, for instance, actually sell them?
And aside from commercial considerations, do artists who consciously relay social or psychological messages in their work really make a change in the world?
At some level, artists face questions like these every day in their work. The answers they find and the messages they care about vary as much as the art itself.
THE USE OF SYMBOL
"Art, historically, has had as one of its primary purposes to make people aware of higher aspects of themselves, of humanity, individually and collectively." say Sedona sculptor James Muir.
"But art has fallen victim to the comercialism and the materialism of our age so that all too often, making social commentary through art is not financially viable. Often it is avoided."
Muir, who became popular as an artist depicting the Civil War era and cavalry subjects of the American frontier, chose to move from the financially secure world of historical art to include imagery that has a message beyond the surface. Success, he says, is about filling the primary purpose each of us is here for, to make a difference in whatever way we can with our particular talent. Success is not necessarily about the gains that follow.
Among other things, the sculpture "Liberte'" by James Muir uses a broken tablet to symbolize the erosion of freedom.
Symbols fill Muir's work, challenging the viewer to search for more meaning than meets the eye. Muir's pieces have three levels of awareness. First, the art much be technically good, because poorly rendered art with allegorical message do not capture attention long enough to relate deeper meanings. The second level of understanding usually reveals higher traits in human values, such as courage or duty. The third level of awareness is always spiritual.
"There is nothing in this world that is not spiritual, but often this level has to be explained," he maintains.
"I'm not out for shock value or to make anyone uncomfortable," he says. "What I do is produce awareness. Today our entertainment media is geared towards avoidance of dealing with what life is about. They provide constant distractions so that we don't have to deal with the meatier issues of life. Some people may be a little disturbed at the messages in my work but not turned off by them. I have yet to have anyone say, "Yes, we are concerned but we don't want to think about it."
James Muir and his Sculpture featured
in this issue of "Billionaire Magazine"
Click above msagazine cover image to view article in Adobe PDF format.
In keeping with his deep spiritual convictions and social consciousness, Muir's sculptural subjects have expanded to reflect the critical nature of the times in which we live. Yet, whether historical or contemporary, "the golden thread that ties it all together is still my never-ending quest for the essence of life- for Truth in its purest form."