Written by Stone Samuels
Wow – where has this year gone? July is here already, and thoughts of the stars and stripes run through my mind, as always. July is the month that we gained our independence and became the United States of America.
Keeping independence in mind, we as a people have the right to create as independents, or as a collective. Collectively, the Arts Council of Fayetteville and the city of Fayetteville decided to bring a group of independent artists work to historic Downtown.
These creative works are nothing short of amazing, and continue to bring positivity to the area. More and more, folks have heard about the sculptures outside of Fayetteville, and have ventured here to see what the buzz is all about.
The featured sculpture for the month of July is called, “Natural Embrace.” This very cool work of art was created by another North Carolina metal sculptor/painter by the name of Paul Hill. With Fayetteville being a military town, it is only fitting that the July exhibit was created by a veteran. This wonderful piece holds no military significance other than its creator.
By looking at this truly amazing sculpture – made of Corten steel and other handmade materials – you get the sense of a very large, mechanical Venus Fly Trap that could come to life at any moment.
The sleek curves of the stems give it a very sleek look, along with very ornate green petals attached to the ends of the metal stems. This is another one of those pieces that you have to gaze at from different angles, and also at different times of the day, to get all the little nuances of its beauty.
This wonderful sculpture is sitting on the corner of Person Street – adjacent to the courthouse. It will not matter if you are driving, or just strolling about, “Natural Embrace” will catch your eye and engage your mind with thoughts of, How neat and imaginative is this?
The Artist of “Natural Embrace” – Paul Hill
Paul Hill is a North Carolina painter/metal sculptor by way of Tyler, Texas and Ohio. He went to Kent State University in 1966 to study Fine Art and Design. Those studies were cut short from 1967-1971, during which time Paul served in the military. He returned to Kent State University to finish up his studies through 1974.
Paul worked at various jobs until 1985 – in various advertising agencies. He always had the idea of wanting to sculpt and paint the things that he wanted to do. He had visions that he needed to express, but working at a nine-to-five job would not allow him to do so. He stopped painting sometime in the early 1990s. This is when he picked up a blow torch, and started sculpting in metal.
He has become a great sculptor, and his work is sot after by many organizations. His exhibits can be found up and down the east coast. Getting back to him being a veteran, Paul has a large piece in Veteran’s Park, here in Fayetteville. What a feather in this veteran’s cap to have his work on permanent display in one of the most iconic military towns in America.
This gentleman put his time in to serve something bigger than himself. His work outside of the service has been special, and deserves all the acclaim it is has garnered. Our hats are off to you, sir. Thank you for your service to our great country, and for all of your amazing works that can be gazed upon for many years to come.
Many of his works can also be found in private collections. Folks that have seen his different works of art have witnessed something great.