/ Center for Global Engagement

About the Artists

The bronze reliefs of Kimura and Ohgimi will be displayed in front of Van Vleck Hall where these two men resided for several years during their time as students.

They will serve as a reminder of the unbroken and thriving 155-year relationship between Japan and Hope College.

About the Artists

Lloyd Mandelbaum

Lloyd MandelbaumLloyd Mandelbaum is the owner and founder of the art casting foundry Chicago Crucible located in Hamilton, Michigan. Originally from the town of Newton outside of Boston, Massachusetts, Lloyd moved to Chicago to attend The School of the Art Institute of Chicago in 2004, focusing in metal sculpture arts.

Lloyd opened Chicago Crucible in 2009 in Chicago. He moved his family and business to Michigan in 2017. The foundry serves artists, designers, and public and private clientele across the country and internationally. In addition, Lloyd has taught at a number of universities, workshops, and conferences. He has also built foundries for other artists and businesses across the country and in Mexico. He lives with his wife Amy, daughter Laine, son Leon, and two cats.

“It has been a delight to work on this project because of the people involved. I am grateful for getting to know the Hope community, even just a little more, during our collaboration.”

Eva-Maria Wohn

Eva-Maria WohnLike many creative people with sensible immigrant parents, I set aside my love for art and took a more practical career path. But my near constant desire to turn fully to my art was accelerated through my work overseas, which exposed me to artists who struggled under extreme physical and political hardship. I’ve worked for telecom corporations and government agencies, a journey I found incredibly challenging, constantly surrounded by brilliant people and new ideas. But it wasn’t until I started my work in a war-torn country that, ironically, I saw how safe I had made my life. I saw how fragile and frail we are as human beings - mentally and physically. I saw how the accident of birth gave me such great privileges, education, and opportunities, and how in a different time and place I would not have had access to the tools to try to make my dreams viable. I now saw a world full of artists prohibited from expressing themselves. The only thing standing in my way was me. Everyone has their own journey, inflection points, and a time when the confidence in their abilities makes stepping out of those safe comfort zones less frightening. My journey getting to this stage in my art career later in life might have been longer than most, but I now come to it with many and varied experiences, from boardrooms to war zones, that influence and inform my work. Always next to me while I work is a contemporary sculpture of a damaged horse and rider made by an artist who despite the odds cast a beautiful bronze in a city dissolving into utter chaos. That is an artist.

I’ve always been fascinated with how people can make us feel in spite of how we want to feel. It’s that momentary involuntary emotion right before we struggle to regain our public face that I try to convey in most of my work. I try to capture duplicity, that uncomfortable feeling when we’re really not sure what the other person means, and we bring all our baggage along as the official interpreter.

I try hard to capture that in-between, leaving interpretations open, yet guided. My muses and audience are the same, they are often the confused, struggling and disaffected. I return to the beautiful form of portraits often so that I can manipulate the clay into features that are instantly recognizable, but the emotions are not totally clear. I want observers to bring themselves to my art and know that I’ve left them enough room to see what they want to see, or perhaps what they need to see.

I have fallen hard for bas relief; it is gorgeous at any scale, from adorning monuments to the smallest medals. In the last few years, I have focused more on bas relief and art medals because they are made to tell stories, and art is all about the story.

I love the ancient medium of clay-to-bronze. Bronze is magnificent. It is cold and brutally honest. There is an old adage that goes something like: A sculpture is born in clay, dies in plaster and is reborn in bronze. That idea of rebirth is the essence of being a maker of art.

“Sculpting the portrait of Ohgimi will always be a highlight in my career as a sculptor. It was a privilege to memorialize in clay a man that left a legacy of compassion, dignity and strength of character. Getting to know him through letters of the day, he struck me as someone who acted ethically and righteously, and consistently aspired to be an example to others. Reading about his kindness to others I focused on the gentleness in his strong face. Photos of him always portrayed a man who took pride in his appearance, and I stayed faithful to that by sculpting him in a way that I think he would approve. And finally, what made this project such a joy was working with Amy Quincey and Alfredo Gonzales. Their obvious love of Ohgimi and his legacy, and their appreciation of the art process, was extraordinary - so much so, that I was sad to see our collaboration end.