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article imageDanek Mozdzenski tells stories of life with his hands Special

By KJ Mullins     Jun 3, 2013 in Entertainment
Toronto - Sculptor Danek Mozdzenski was an artist for as long as he can remember. At the age of two he was already wanting to create, and by the time he was 14 others wanted him to sculpt for them.
The love of his craft, of art and of the world around him is evident to those around him.
Danek's father, an accountant, came to Canada because of "his love of Indians and vast places." Danek's mother was a housewife who loved theatre. "She was in many productions, several large ones," Danek said proudly at Toronto's Grand Hotel Monday afternoon.
Growing up on the edge of Edmonton, Danek visited the building sites of homes after construction crews left for the day to dig out clay to work with. He smiled remembering those days of his youth saying that his parents encouraged their artistic son and filled him with the love of learning about the past, culture and more. "My siblings may not have enjoyed it as much but I soaked everything in. Egypt! Greece!"
His teachers always praised his drawing. By the time he was 12 others were starting to see the talent his hands created with sculpture. Smiling shyly Danek admitted that he was always good at his craft but there is more to creating a work of art. For Danek that creation has to have a life force, a spirit of those that he immortalizes. He brings his passion for physiology, history, North American ethnology and paleontology to each of his pieces.
Danek Mozdzenski s sculpture of Pearson in Ottawa
Danek Mozdzenski's sculpture of Pearson in Ottawa
permission from Stephen Weir (PR)
One of his most famous sculptures is the Lester B. Pearson monument on Parliament Hill in Ottawa, Ontario. Danek poured over 1000's of photographs to be able to capture Pearson's likeness and listened to recordings of his voice. "The voice tells so much about a person, the tone and tenor. It has a life force."
Each of his sculptures share a quality of aliveness. He said that he hopes that those who view his work hundreds of years in the future can feel the same emotions as those who view them today. Danek also uses models to help him capture that feeling of life for those pieces where the person is no longer living.
Danek Mozdzenski s etching of Issac Brock
Danek Mozdzenski's etching of Issac Brock
Steven Weir PR
Danek will be awarded the commission of art to commemorate Isaac Brock in time for the 50th anniversary of Brock University. A private donor provided the university $1 million to capture Brook's essence. Danek applied late in the game during the round of proposals. He won because he is Canada's best sculptor and his body of work speaks for him. "I was dealing with the death of a family member and hadn't heard about the project until it was almost over," Danek said. Now he is combing over every piece of history that he can about Brock including his formal military hat which the commander never got to wear.
Brock is called the "Father of Canada". During the War of 1812 Brock rallied the 100,000 settlers in Upper Canada together with the native peoples under Tecumseh and found funding for the defensive militias. Brock died during a battle along the Niagara River at Queenston. Knowing it was tactically imperative to immediately throw the first wave of Americans back across the Niagara River before they could receive reinforcements, galloping on ahead Brock led an early morning attack with the few available local forces even before his foot troops could arrive. He was shot dead leading the assault.
More about Danek Mozdzenski, Artist, Brock University
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