Stanley Wanlass, sculptor of bronzed roadsters and other timeless automobiles, will return to Brigham Young University with an exhibit Wednesday (Dec. 4) to help his alma mater celebrate the largest donation in its history.
"I'm pleased to showcase my private collection of sculptures as part of the occasion," said Wanlass.
The exhibit is tied to the announcement of a multimillion dollar gift to BYU from the Partners for the Advancement of CAD/CAM/CAE Education, an alliance formed between General Motors, Sun Microsystems and EDS to support academic institutions with computer-based engineering and design tools. The donation includes software packages identical to those GM uses in its vehicle development process.
The free exhibit will run from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Wednesday in the second-floor lobby of the Crabtree Technology Building. Wanlass extensively researches the cars he sculpts, trying first to drive a model of each to get a feel for its dimensions and performance.
The artist's work has been displayed in automotive museums the world over. Those featuring a complete collection are the Blackhawk Museum in Danville, Calif., the Car Rail Museum in Detroit, the Rosso Bianco Museum in Germany, the National Automobile Museum in Holland and the Guggisburg Museum in Switzerland.
The latest issue of Automobile Quarterly, a periodical for automobile connoisseurs, features Wanlass' art on its cover and in a full-length article, which calls him the "sculptor of motion."
BYU professors say he was an ideal fit for the automotive theme of the PACE announcement.
"Stanley has been a good friend to both the technology and art departments over the years," said John Marshall, a professor of industrial design. "He is the perfect person to help us commemorate this event."
After graduation from BYU in 1966, Wanlass taught art at the European Art Academy in Paris and the University of Grenoble, France. He has also taught at universities in the United States and Canada. After giving up teaching to sculpt full time, Wanlass was commissioned for numerous historical sculptures in the United States and internationally.
Wanlass' time at BYU was influential in his decision to pursue a career in art. After winning the school's Merrill Award for sculpture in 1965 and the Brockbank Award for painting in 1966, he began to believe in his own abilities as an artist.
"The awards were a complete surprise to me and helped me make up my mind to stick with art," said Wanlass. "I thought, 'Maybe I could go somewhere with this.'"
Writer: Kristin Prina