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Tony Angell

(b. 1940)

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Biography

Born in 1940, sculptor Tony Angell has lived in Seattle, Washington for most of his life.  His artistic career started much earlier, however, in the as-yet undeveloped canyons and hills of the Los Angeles area, where Angell grew up.  It was here, sketching the birds and animals he saw as a young man, that Angell first developed the two things that would set his course in life: a love of wildlife and a love of art.  These formative experiences led to Angell’s early artistic career as a wildlife painter and illustrator.  It was only in the late 1960s that Angell turned to carving wildlife forms, when a neighbor gave him a slab of soapstone.  Within a few years, Angell had turned his energies almost exclusively to sculpting and carving, the forms that have since become his trademark.

Equally talented in small, intimate forms and large-scale works, Angell focuses on the animals and natural materials of the Pacific Northwest.  With their emphasis on color and texture and organic form, Angell’s sculptures and carvings find a nexus between subject and material.  These works embody the artist’s interpretation of both the spirit of the material and the spirit of the animal, whether in stone or bronze, bas relief or free-standing sculpture. 

In sculpture there is the visual delight in imagining the form within the stone…the tactile tracing of hands over the surface to find the edges of what awaits emergence, and the application of tools to prod the form into reality.  Finishing is a kinesthetic dance with the stone as I lift, turn and transport to sense its mass and weight.  The chisel and saw test the stone’s willingness to cooperate and the stone’s voice speaks with each strike of the hammer, revealing secrets of its integrity.  The procedure is expansive, liberating and fulfilling.

                                                                                                  Tony Angell

A dedicated conservationist and naturalist, Angell served for several years as the Director of Environmental Education for Washington State.  He is also a past president of the Puget Sound Alliance, a group committed to restoring the environmental quality of the area, and served as an advisor for the construction of an environmental learning center in the northern Cascades.

Angell’s works have been featured in exhibits at the Frye Art Museum, The Gilcrease Museum, and the Woodson Art Museum's annual Birds In Art exhibit, which designated him a Master Wildlife Artist in 2001.  Angell has also been included in the prestigious Prix de West InvitationalSome prominent public collections that own Angell's works include the National Wildlife Museum, Jackson,The Frye Art Museum, Seattle; Seattle Art Museum, Museum of Norhtwest Art, La Conner, WA; Tacoma Art Museum, Tacoma, WA; and the Northwest Collection of Art of Century Link, as well as in numerous private collections around the world.  In addition, Angell has written and illustrated several books related to nature, including: In the Company of Crows and Ravens, with John M. Marzluff (Yale, 2005), Puget Sound Through an Artist's Eye, (University of Washington, 2009),The Gifts of the Crow, with John M. Marzluff (Simon and Schuster, 2012), and, most recently, The House of Owls, (Yale, 2015), which won the National Outdoor Book Award for 2015.

Publications