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Jay Lagemann

18 Wequobsque Road
Chilmark, MA 02535, U.S.A.
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Phone: 5085600151

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 Jay Lagemann has been making sculpture ever since he started coming to the Vineyard in 1950. The land around his house and studio in Chilmark has developed into the Wild Island Sculpture Garden that is always evolving and changing. While he has a penchant for the outdoors, Jay spends more time indoors when winter comes.  Clay becomes the favored medium.  Most of his clay pieces are abstractly figural and are made in the warm tones of terra cotta and stoneware.

Dr. Lagemann reads widely about outdoor sculpture and likes to visit sculpture gardens, most recently climbing the wall of a private sculpture park in California to be able to see the hidden sculptures.  He is interested in how sculpture works in the out of doors and especially in the interaction between the sculpture and its environment over time.

Lagemann is recognized for the animated, playful characters he created from metal. He is perhaps best known for the seventeen-foot tall Swordfish Harpooner that stands amidst the dunes in Menemsha commissioned for Chilmark's tri-centennial in 1994. Responding to requests for a personal sized version of the Swordfish Harpooner, Jay attended a workshop at the Johnson Atelier and Foundry in New Jersey.  There he learned how to work in the bronze medium and completed the casting of a prototype that was used to produce the edition of bronze 'Harpooner' sculptures.  The bronze Swordfish Harpooner is mounted on a hand picked beach rock from Chilmark's South Shore. They are signed and numbered and are suitable for placement inside or outdoors.

The original Raising Children/Swinging Jenny is the full sized painted steel sculpture of a man swinging a young girl by her hands that has played for five years on the front lawn of Marianne's Screen Printing in Vineyard Haven. Outlined in white Christmas tree lights it warmed the heart of many a passerby on cold winter nights.  When the original steel edition sold out, Jay took the opportunity to take on the creation of another, smaller bronze. He says about his work:

I saw it as quite a challenge to translate Raising Children/Swinging Jenny from large steel to a small bronze.  It is not easy to get a feeling of weightlessness with a medium as solid and heavy as bronze.  I ended up making four different models.  By working on them from different angles and in different lights I was able to make one that I feel works very well and I am proud to have created.