Jan Van Ek
Sculptor of the Equine Image, Sculptor of the Metaphysical.
Jan grew up in Medford, Oregon where her love of horses naturally expressed itself as her artistic gifts flourished at an early age. Her incessant drawing of horses, studying the anatomy from her first horse Midnight in high school, ... moreSculptor of the Equine Image, Sculptor of the Metaphysical.
Jan grew up in Medford, Oregon where her love of horses naturally expressed itself as her artistic gifts flourished at an early age. Her incessant drawing of horses, studying the anatomy from her first horse Midnight in high school, led to the study of fine art at Oregon State University.
There a sculpture professor who specialized in bronze casting inspired her to apply her talent to three dimensional work. Jan was immediately committed to the full time pursuit of sculpting horses. Her approach was always to depict the equine as a creature of romance, power, and freedom. This is why Jan's horses are rarely sculpted with humans in the composition, and never sculpted with tack of any kind to interrupt the flow oft he magnificent forms of the horse in motion.
"Sculpture is the way I choose to express my love of horses."
After graduating with a BFA in sculpture, Jan moved to Denver and, to perfect her technical skills and control the production of her work, she began work at a bronze casting foundry. In her years at the foundry she gained expertise in all the steps required in the intricate process of bringing a sculpted clay form to life in bronze. This included full production work in rubber mold making, wax pouring and chasing, ceramic shell mold construction, bronze welding and chasing, and patination.
After 22 years of working in Denver and establishing herself as a nationally recognized equine sculptor, she returned to Oregon in 2004 to build her dream studio near her childhood home, to own and train horses, and to spend more time with her family, which includes her son Max, her husband National Sculptor Society (NSS) Sculptor Thomas Jay Warren, and her five older brothers.
In Southern Oregon she raises Beauty (her favorite model), a magnificent white Arabian mare from the bloodline of Raffles, and Kindle, a miniature mare who was born to trot. Jan won Best in Show at Western States Horse Expo in Sacramento, California with her monumental sculpture Sirocco.
Jan recently completed a private commission for an estate near Miami which consists of two life-size horses, a Friesian stallion and an Arabian mare in full flight. The second casting of the edition of three of this piece, entitled Beauty & the Beast, was for a private collection in Colorado.
In 2008 the American Academy of Equine Art awarded Jan their most prestigious award, The Founders' Award, for excellence in sculpture.