'Grey Whale Cow &Calf'
Since his childhood in Southern California, Randy Puckett
has loved animals and the sea. In 1976 he carved a toy whale for his son,
Justin, and his interests in sculpture and whales merged. For over 25
years Randy has sustained a passion for creating whales through sculpture.
He has found ways to be part of their world: dived with research
biologists and humpback whales, been within 50 feet of a blue whale,
observed river dolphins in the Orinoco and sperm whales in the North
Pacific and the Sea of Cortez, orcas off Puget Sound and bottlenose
dolphins off Florida. Randy collects and studies photographs, film,
videotape, and scientific literature on whales and dolphins to insure the
accuracy of his work. The fun of his research is in the detail, and in
getting to know the scientists who discover those details.
As they walk through the Hall of Marine Mammals, visitors to the Monterey
Bay Aquarium observe overhead Randy's life size gray whales and orcas.
Guests at the Birch Aquarium at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La
Jolla, California see THE LEGACY, which heralds the entrance to the
aquarium and La Jolla Bay beyond. At the time of its installation in 1996,
THE LEGACY was the only life size bronze sculpture in the world of any of
the large whales, and at 39' 10" tall, it was the second largest bronze
sculpture ever cast in the United States. This huge work consists of a
breaching female gray whale and her calf, and the diving tail of a third
gray whale displayed in two fountains.
After several years of creating whales in wood, Randy first cast his work
in bronze, beginning in 1981. Bronze is an enduring medium and allows more
fine detail. Randy's fascination with motion, grace, and tactile beauty is
evident in his sculptures, which are among the finest in the world. He
loves to play with form and motion: studying the interplay of mass, line,
and space. His affinity for fluid, elliptical forms enables him to
conceive a pattern or movement to render in an anatomically accurate
portrait. The abstract of shapes and angles he envisions are then
translated into a detailed study of a fascinating species based on current
scientific research. Randy's sculptures frequently interpret something of
the natural history and abilities of whales and dolphins: the phases of
life and the ways in which mankind can identify with other species.
Randy Puckett's work has garnered many awards in competitive art shows on
both East and West Coasts, including the 2001 Marine Environmental
Wildlife Award at the Maritime Gallery at Mystic Seaport. The Ocean
Research Foundation awarded him the 1988 John Stoneman Award for his
"outstanding contributions toward the better understanding and
appreciation of the marine environment." Assisting conservation,
education, and research organizations, particularly through fund raising,
has been and is, a central focus of Randy's activities.
Although Randy spent his childhood in San Bernardino, California, he
graduated High School in Sault Ste. Marie, Michigan. After military
service, he graduated in 1975 with a bachelorís degree in Political
Science from the University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point. In 1976 Randy
returned to California, this time to Monterey on the Central Coast, where
he makes his life as a sculptor in the solar home he designed and built