Artist: Tom Durham
Dr. Pete Hollis
How were you contacted to create this piece?
I was contacted by the search committee to present a model for the Pete Hollis sculpture. I was recommended by Jasper Johns’ sister, Zan Wells, who was another artist living in Greenville.
What is the inspiration of this piece?
After doing my research I found that Pete Hollis was an innovator towards rural education, something that was and still is very important in this country. Education for all, not just those that can pay for it. In addition, he had started the first YWCA in Greenville. Both benefited my mother, who grew up in Easley and Anderson. She actually lived at the YWCA when she was young. Having that personal connection made it easy to be inspired to make a good portrait.
What materials did you use to create this statue?
The sculpture was modeled in clay in a studio in Charleston, which was located in an old cigar factory. It was cast in bronze by a small foundry in Florida.
How long did it take to create?
It appears that due dates for most commissioned sculptures are fast. You get three months at most to sculpt the figure, and then it takes six months to cast it, so it took nine months.
What is your favorite part of the piece and why?
I did not have as many photo references as I would have wished, but he was a big man. I think I captured his facial expression very well.
When was it completed?
I’m not sure. I believe around 2000-2003.
Located at the intersection of Rutherford Road and Poinsett Highway in Greenville on Pete Hollis Boulevard., which is also known as the Pete Hollis Gateway.
Post your photos in front of Pete Hollis statue using #gvlartinfocus.