Pictured: Is artist Gedion Nyanhongo's sculpture called, "Feeding the Family."
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Releasing the Spirit of Stone

Shea Stanfield

01/17/18

"My sculptures are a tribute to enduring life values expressed in the timelessness of ancient stone."  Gedion Nyanhongo. 

Born into an artistic family, in Nyanga, Zimbabwe, Africa, on December 22, 1967 Gedion entered the world blessed, inspired, and guided by one of Africa's "first generation" sculptors, his father Claud Nyanhongo.  Claud was a prominent, highly regarded sculptor, as well as, a founding pioneer of the Shona Sculpture Movement.  Shona Sculpture is unique to Zimbabwe, a movement that took root in popularity during the late 1950's.  Gedion's work follows the path of this renowned expression in introducing the viewer to the traditional values, the importance of community, positive, respectful human relationships, and the sacredness of life.  His goal is to inspire the positive aspects of humanity across cultures and in our own lives.

Gedion's journey, in adolescence, was to apprentice with the internationally acclaimed sculptor Joseph Ndandarika, a friend of his father.  With Joseph Gedion turned his initial skills, learned as a child, into sophisticated polished expression.  By 1988 Gedion was ready to strike out on his own.  Empowered by his expanding personal vision and technical skills honed under the grand masters of his craft, he quickly earned his own recognition as a sculptor of excellence.  Gedion's debut exhibition took place in 1989 at the Mabwe Gallery in Harare, Zimbabwe.  Since that first exhibit his works have be seen in solo and group exhibitions throughout the world, including England, France, Germany, Holland, Hong Kong, South Africa, and the United States.  Today, his works are held in numerous private and public collections worldwide.

Gedion works from his studio in Cave Creek, Arizona.  His stone is imported from his homeland of Zimbabwe; specimens include serpentine, springstone, opal, lepidolite, and verdite, just to name a few.  In the tradition of the Shona Sculpture Movement Gedion works entirely by hand using a hammer, selection of chisels and drill to rough out his images.   Finishing work is done by hand, as well, with a series of files and a variety of polishing techniques.  Gedion’s focus is "to release the spirit" by following the natural contour of the stone, gradually removing material, piece by piece, until the image within emerges in its finished form. Gedion is dedicated to offering the cultural beauty, of his homeland, to the rest of the world.

In July 2017, Gedion received the very prestigious award of “Best New Exhibitor” at Art Santa Fe Show held in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  This past November he participated, in his tenth annual Hidden in the Hills Studio Tour.  The year 2018 opens with Gedion participating, for the first time, in ArtExpo Las Vegas, January 28-31.  Those of us in the Phoenix area will have the opportunity to meet Gedion and witness his creative process at the annual “Celebration of Fine Art,” he will be exhibiting and working in Studio 148.  Celebration of Fine Art is open from January 13 to March 25, daily from 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m, located on the southwest corner of Hayden Road and the 101 in Scottsdale.  For more information visit their website at
www.celebrateart.com .

Contact Arts Columnist, Shea Stanfield, on flowingquill@yahoo.com.