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Jason Arkles and the essence of forms

Jason Louis Arkles, a woodworker’s son, was born in Washington, DC. In 1996 he moved to Florence, Italy, where he met Charles Cecil, an accomplished portrait and landscape painter who heads a small, private atelier in Florence. Jason helped in the construction and outfitting of a new studio for sculpture, a medium not previously offered to the pupils at the atelier. From January 1997 until 2006, Jason was department head and principal instructor of the Sculpture Room at Charles Cecil Studios. At the studio, Jason was in charge of teaching a nearly lost sculptural tradition: the sight-size sculpture method. Thanks to this approach, he contributed to regaining a classical tradition and making students tackle the original essence of sculpture.


In June of 2000, the National Sculpture Society awarded him the George Gach Prize, for his entry in the National Sculpture Competition, and the Gloria Medal for his ‘meritorious body of work’. Since then, Jason has taken part in national and international exhibitions in Europe and the United States, has completed several large works for clients such as the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the United States Army, and is represented in private collections around the world. However, to date he continues to be very elusive, he rarely exhibits and declines gallery representation.

His teaching atelier, Studio Della Statua, opened in 2010 in Florence, where he passes on the traditions of figurative sculpture to a small number of private students. Jason continues his own education, notably in 2010 by way of a Master’s degree in Sacred Arts from a pontifical academy in Rome. In addition to publishing a translation into English of Leon Battista Alberti’s Della Statua (from which he took the name for his atelier), Jason lectures for the History of Art Department of the British Institute of Florence, and gives occasional lectures at several other Florentine studios. Jason is also the host of the popular podcast on figurative sculpture, The Sculptor’s Funeral.


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