We had the good fortune of connecting with John Lopez and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi John, is your business focused on helping the community? If so, how?
My home base is in a small town in north-western South Dakota and my work really stands out because it’s really the only public art in a 100 mile radius. My hope is that youngsters in the area see that if ranch kid like me can make something out of nothing they can do it to. I have renovated several buildings downtown In hopes to start a momentum of change in out small cowtown. It’s a risk for sure financially and professionally but I think k it’s worth it if it impacts the community in a positive way.
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
I fell in love sculpture in college. It was sculpture 101 and it was a required class. I had never put that much thought into sculpture or how sculptures were made and after that class I was hooked. For some reason I was totally enamored with sculpture and and trying to create the human form in sculpting wax or horse or a bison in some kind of crazy action scene. I looked to Charles Russell and Frederick Remington for inspiration. There were many challenges along the way but but as I time time went by I learned that is that never to give up that Even through discouraging moments where the sculpture doesn’t look quite right you keep pushing forward until it’s finished.
I think motivation and drive are 2 of my greatest qualities and im Not necessarily as talented as some of the other artists but I am very driven. Once I figured out that I could never give up on a project things really started to open up in blossom. I learned that I could do anything I set my mind to.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
I would take them to the Grand River where I grew up and show them the beauty of the landscape on the standing rock Indian reservation. The Grand River winds Through the land as cottonwood trees sprout up all over. This is Sitting Bulls old stomping ground and also the place where I grew up. I would then take them to a pow wow in bullhead South Dakota where the native Sioux Indigenous people Mimic an indiginous bird The prairie grouse The prairie grouse in its dance and movements. The beat of the drum and the sound of the voices singing will entrance them.
Then we would end the day at fast eddies a steakhouse in Morristown South Dakota where I used to live. It was my mom’s old grocery store and is now a really cool steakhouse
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My aunt Effie is a huge encouragement, motivator in my life. She’s a school teacher and was good at her job. She would invite authors, athletes, professionals into her classroom to speak to her students in hopes it would build a fire under them to pursue they’re passion/ dream in life.
My mother was the first person to inspire me artistically.. She loved creating and I loved mimicking her.. She painted, did needlepoint and Photography.
Judy Larson is a behind the scenes doer that motivates me to be better. I went to high-school with Judy and it just so happens we are both in our hometown of Lemmon trying to make a difference. Judy is a leader with passion for Lemmon and the surrounding area.
Facebook: John Lopez Studio