Canada’s pre-eminent wildlife sculptor presenting his work at the Côte Saint-Luc library art gallery
An exhibit of wildlife sculptures from District 2 resident Shalom Bloom will be on display at the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library’s Art Gallery from November 5, 2015 to January 17, 2016.
The exhibit opens with a vernissage on November 5 at 7 pm.
Bloom is considered to be one of Canada’s pre-eminent wildlife sculptors. His work has been commissioned by the Civil Aviation Organization headquarters in Montreal, and is on display on the grounds of the Museum of Nature in Ottawa, and at museums and corporate buildings worldwide.
Just as fascinating as his art is his story. Bloom, who today is an active 88-year old living in Côte Saint-Luc, only started working on his sculptures at age 50, during a successful career building his own businesses. He was CEO of Arlington Sports, the South African Diamond Company and a restaurant chain. He devoted most of his time to pursue his art starting in 1995.
He stumbled across his talent by accident when his children were working with plasticine modeling clay and asked for his help.
“The minute I got my hands on the wax, it changed my life,” Bloom said. “All my inner thoughts, philosophies, and my yearnings and doubts came out in the wax. I became the master and wax because my tool.”
Bloom credits his wife, Roslyn, for pushing him and encouraging him in his new life.
“She not only discovered me but encouraged me throughout,” Bloom said.
Bloom says there was once incident in particular that convinced him to get into art more seriously.
“One day my secretary was standing at the door of my office with her 5-year old son,” Bloom said. “The boy was standing there just staring at the life-size sculpture of a sleeping cub next to my desk. Then he ran to the sculpture, gave it a hug and kiss, and then shyly turned back. I thought to myself that if I’m able to evoke that kind of reaction from a child, then I should enter it seriously.”
For many years, Bloom worked from his studios and the garage at his Hampstead home. Bloom says that often after dinner, children on the street would sit at the driveway and watch as he worked. He would explain what he was doing and even let his young audience add little pieces of wax so they could feel like they contributed.
“On many occasions, someone would be driving down my street, would glance at my garage and then stop the car so suddenly that the brakes would screech,” said Bloom. “They thought they saw a real life-size bull in the garage.”
Bloom doesn’t regret giving up his business life for life as an artist.
“A businessman achieves success with his head and tongue, while an artist creates with his heart and hands, providing something that outlasts material wealth,” Bloom said. “Each human being is like a mine and you must dig all the time to find the vein of talent that is hidden. Once you find it, it can lead to endless beauty and interesting directions—changing your life forever.”