Sound the trumpets: the Benjamin Victor Gallery has officially opened its doors to the public on Boise State’s campus.
The 7,500-square-foot gallery is one of its kind in the country — an interactive space where students can learn from a living master and the general public is welcome to peruse towering nine-foot-tall bronze and marble sculptures and larger-than-life busts, as well as works in progress and at least 15 priceless clay originals from which bronze versions of Victor’s most famous sculptures are cast.
The finished bronzes may be installed everywhere from the oil fields of Taft, California, to the U.S. Capitol but they have a unifying factor: all were crafted by a nationally renowned sculptor.
“Boise State is the only place in the country where students and the public can see these great works of art, which are spread across the globe,” Victor explains.
At age 26, Victor became the youngest artist ever to have a sculpture in the nation’s foremost collection, the National Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol. Nine years later he became the only living artist to have two works in Statuary Hall (the priceless clay original of one of these works is now on display in the gallery).
Today, Victor is working as an Artist in Residence and Professor of the Practice at Boise State, which recently unveiled his 9-foot bronze statue of former Micron Technology CEO Steve Appleton in the courtyard at the Micron Business and Economics Building.
“As one of Boise State’s Professors of the Practice, I am committed to educating the whole artist – from leading student art workshops on the basic foundations of sculpture, to conducting lectures on the business skills artists need in order to be successful,” Victor says. “The least formal but most important aspect of my job is being accessible to students – ensuring that they know they are welcome to come in and learn from me, and work with me, in their free time.”
The Benjamin Victor Gallery is located on the east end of campus on University Drive, between the Student Union Building and Albertson’s Stadium, in the building formerly known as the Mechanical Technology Building. Six striking bronze statues stand out front to greet visitors, including full-scale casts of the Biblical characters Samson, Delilah and Abel.
Students and members of the public are encouraged to visit the gallery during normal business hours, 9 a.m.-noon and 1-5 p.m. Monday through Friday. To find out more about the artist or to schedule a private tour, please visit Victor’s website.