Exciting progress is being made on one of Martin Eichinger’s larger art commissions in progress. Natural beauty is met with great artistry as we embark on the next phase of this large-scale vision for the Cloisters on the Platte, a spiritual retreat in Nebraska.
Martin and the Eichinger Sculpture Studio team are currently working in conjunction with four other teams of master sculptors from around the country on a commission of over 70 monumental bronze figures. It promises to be the grandest example of the Stations of the Cross ever created.
Joe Ricketts, an entrepreneur, and philanthropist is the founder of the Cloisters on the Platte. Set on a beautiful natural expanse along the Platte River, the destination will offer a silent retreat experience in the Jesuit tradition. It will be “based on the spiritual exercises developed by St. Ignatius Loyola but will be open to people of all faiths. “Anyone who is interested in spiritual growth is welcome.”
Martin Examines the Space Through Inner Examination
To prepare for this project and to understand better the mindset behind Ricketts’ vision, Martin participated in a silent retreat sponsored by the Cloisters on the Platte. “As a sculptor, I wanted to understand how the devout would experience the retreat and the Stations of the Cross that were a significant part of it. The three-day silent retreat left me deeply moved on both personal and spiritual levels, far beyond the artistic level I was trying to understand.”
Working with a growing Eichinger Sculpture Studio team and working in concert with other teams of master sculptors has been a fulfilling experience for Martin. He has acted as a sort of conductor with so many pieces in play. The project took advantage of contemporary digital technology, working closely with Form 3D Foundry in Portland. It’s been a fascinating process, seeing it come to fruition this last year.
In addition to the Cloisters project, Martin also has begun work on two new art commissions. He was recently asked to create a monumental bust of Rafik Hariri, the late former prime minister of Lebanon, for the Rafik Hariri Business Center at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. Also, “The Abigail,” a mixed-income housing project in Portland, has chosen Eichinger Sculpture Studio to create a monument in honor of Oregon poet and suffragette Abigail Dunniway for installation in the facility’s courtyard. Libby (Krock) Carruth is the lead sculptor for the Abigail project.
The Geode: Creative Space for Portland Artists
All this is happening inside an Eichinger Sculpture Studio that is under major reconstruction and transformation. The Geode: A Nest for Creative Entrepreneurs, is beginning to make big strides in all directions. Each day at the studio is a new hard-hat adventure. Marty continues to finalize his design elements for the building and we are starting to see some of the special artistic features take shape including programmable light blades and a lit spiral staircase. Marty never ceases to surprise us all with his imagination and skill.
We here at ESS are grateful for our community and we believe firmly that art can be a powerful tool in these times of great change.