Venus Dreaming: a Sculpture by Thomas R. Morrison
Objective: The goal of this project is to raise $29,500 to fund having the life-size figurative sculpture “Venus Dreaming” by late artist Thomas R. Morrison cast in bronze and permanently installed in a public space in New Orleans: Coliseum Square Park, near the artist’s former home. The bronze statue is already under construction at the Artworks Foundry of Berkeley, a leading bronze casting facility, and is expected to be complete in April of 2023. The Lower Garden District Association, which controls Coliseum Square, has provided its written approval for the project. The above video includes multiple photos of the original clay piece in the artist’s studio. The final image is a mock-up of how the finished bronze statue will look in the park.
Here's a photo of the sculptor at work: Thomas R. Morrison, whose great passion, talent, and benevolence we seek to honor and memorialize with this public art piece...
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Background: Thomas “Randy” Morrison was a beloved Mardi Gras parade float designer and sculptor, as well as a gifted fine artist with a bronze collection of neoclassical figurative sculptures. He passed away unexpectedly in January of 2022, shortly before the Mardi Gras celebration in which his monumental floats would be featured in two major parades: the Krewe of Pygmalion and the Krewe of Hermes. Prior to his death, Morrison sculpted what he hoped would be his magnum opus: a life-size clay sculpture of Venus in repose, the goddess seeming to levitate as if floating on a dream. We, his friends and family, are raising money to see this masterpiece cast in bronze as he intended, and displayed where it can be appreciated by the people of New Orleans.
About the Artist: Morrison had a profound impact on the NOLA grassroots art community, and particularly the Mardi Gras artist community. For over 25 years, he inspired, influenced, and mentored many of the artists working on Mardi Gras today. He had an eye for talent and often led teams of artists to design, build, sculpt, and paint the stunning floats that were his trademark. He left a legacy of well-trained artists influenced by his style, his knowledge, and his belief that art is for everyone, and that Mardi Gras is the perfect way to share beautiful art for free. He loved New Orleans and the Greek and Roman mythology that are so much a part of the city’s character. New Orleans' artistic spirit and joie de vivre inspired him and reflected his own unquenchable passion. He has left an indelible mark on the city and its inhabitants, and his work will be featured and reused in Mardi Gras parades for years to come.
Who We Are: Thomas R. Morrison Public Art Projects LLC is a non-profit organization founded by Stacey Morrison and Steven Morrison, the artist’s siblings, and David Seropian, his lifelong friend. Established in 2023, our 501(c)(3) is dedicated to the challenge of seeing this project through to completion, then continuing to support the New Orleans artistic community that Thomas Morrison loved and nurtured during his long career. Our application to the IRS for tax-exempt status has been approved, so all donations made to this project are tax-deductible. If you need a tax receipt for your donation, please contact us.
Video Links: Here are links to video slideshows featuring Morrison’s fine art bronzes:
Breakdown of Project Costs: The total cost of having the Venus bronze cast, packed, and shipped to New Orleans is estimated at approximately $25,000. The cost of permanently installing the piece on a plinth in the park is estimated at $10,000.
- Venus casting estimate: $20,700
- Venus packing estimate: $2,000
- Venus shipping estimate: $2,500
- Venus installation estimate: $8,000
- SubTotal: $33,200
- Sales Tax: $3,300
- Total: $36,500
- Paid to Artworks Foundry: -$7,000
- Remaining Balance: $29,500
Additional Links: More information and articles about the artist:
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New Orleans, LA
Thomas R. Morrison Public Art Projects, Inc.
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