Medium of Artistic Expression
Richard Freely’s art evolved significantly over his past four decades reflecting dramatic changes in his life, and in our world at large. Putting into practice various creative processes and media. Richard endlessly explored new ideas while remaining true to his roots. Freely is regarded as a planet conscious artist and somewhat of a pioneer, since he had been recycling found and discarded materials in his artwork for over forty years.
Traditionally, many of Freely’s creations were formed via the molten fusion technique. This process requires the construction of a wire armature, which provides the essential frame and shape for the new piece. Everything is then fused at extremely high temperatures using an arc welder. The main advantage of this technique is that the artist can manipulate and produce various textures in metal by melting raw materials to a molten mass.
At one point, Richard Freely was funded by the Alberta Foundation for the Arts to explore the combined medias of stainless steel, crushed glass & polymer. Freely produced a beautiful and unique sculpture, adding luminescence by placing lighting behind the crushed glass & polymer. The initial project spurned several more creations using the same or similar media.
On a trip South of the border, Richard’s senses were delighted by Mexico’s vivid colours, old Spanish architecture capped with Gargoyles and ancient Mayan art. He found the sunshine, palm trees and work of contemporary Mexicana artists very interesting and inspiring. Freely was moved in a whole new direction. This experience renewed his artistic creativity and motivated him to create new art with 60’s style colours and uniquely “fun” moving pieces. The latter called Art in Motion, are enjoyable sculptures with movements such as spinning or a rocking when gently nudged.
History & Background
Richard H. Freely was born in NYC in 1938 and was raised in Brooklyn and Long Island. As a young adult, Richard worked various jobs to support himself and his young family. His professional career as an artist began in 1966 in legendary Greenwich Village, where he quickly became a part of the creative culture. The 60’s were exciting times for a budding artist and NYC was the best place to be. It was at this time that Richard was inspired to resurrect found and discarded objects as beautiful works of art. While living in the US, Freely’s work was exhibited all over the East Coast at various art shows and exhibitions.
Richard sought mentorship from artists he admired like Virginia based painter & sculpture, Franklin Worster. He also studied with metallurgist Alfred Paoletti, who recognized Freely’s talent and encouraged the young apprenticeto experiment with metal manipulation. Freely augmented his training by enrolling for relevant art courses at the Fleisher Art Memorial in Philidelphia.
Richard Freely immigrated with his family to Canada in 1970 and has since lived in Onatario, British Columbia and Alberta. Richard eventually settled in Calgary which he had called home since 1992.
- Artspace Gallery, Calgary AB 2001-2008
- Studio Showcase, Calgary AB 1999-2005
- Bow Valley, Calgary AB 1999
- Point Gallery, Calgary AB 1996-1997
- Art is Vital, Calgary AB 1993-1995
- St. Joseph’s Heritage Art Show, Thunder Bay ON 1989
- Windsor Art in the Park, Windsor ON 1986
- Toronto Outdoor Art Exhibition, Toronto On 1986-87
- Sculpture 84, Vancouver BC 1984
- Columbia Mountain Artisan’s, Revelstoke BC
- Backside Gallery, Cochrane AB
- Artisan’s Gallery, Cochrane AB
- Quest Gallery, Banff AB
- Penticton Art Gallery, Vernon BC
- Topham Brown Art Gallery, Vernon BC
- Sculpture 77, Vancouver BC
- Virginia Beach, Annual & juried
- South Hampton, Annual & juried (1st prize winner)
- Atlantic City, Annual & juried
- Brooklyn Museum, Annual & juried
- Greenwich Village, NYC
Commissions & Awards
- Ralph Klein’s Funniest Man Award AB
- Willard Pederson Award, Best Expressive Piece, AB
- Alberta Foundation for the Arts (Grant), AB
- R. Muenz Private Collection, AB
- John Rahenkamp, Architect, Philadelphia PA
- Enid F. Rapp, Architect, Philadelphia, PA
- Concord Mall, Wilmington, Delaware
- Philadelphia Redevelopment Authority, PA
- Atlantic & Pacific Tea Company, PA
- Air Traffic Consultants, NYC
- Sterling National Bank, NYC
- Howard Johnson Hotel CT
- Goodwin Homes. NJ
- + 100’s of additional pieces for various private collectors