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 March 31 to May 29, 2016.
The vernissage is April 14, 2016 at 7 pm.
Bloom is considered one of Canada’s pre-eminent wildlife sculptors. Many of his sculptures are on display at corporate headquarters worldwide as well as in White Tail Deer Park in Elliot Lake. His work has been commissioned by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) to create a sculpture for their headquarters in Montreal.
Just as fascinating as his art is his personal story. Bloom, who is today an active resident of Côte Saint-Luc, only started working on his sculptures at age 50, while creating a successful career building his own businesses. He was CEO of Arlington Sports, the South Africa Diamond Company, as well as a chain of restaurants. Starting in 1995, he devoted much of his time to pursue his art.
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 became my tool.”
Bloom credits his wife for encouraging him in his new endeavour.
Bloom says there was one incident 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 young boy was standing there just staring at the life-size sculpture of a sleeping cub. Then he ran to the sculpture, gave it a hug and kiss, and shyly turned back. I realized that if I am able to evoke that kind of reaction from a child, then I should enter it seriously.”
For many years, Bloom worked in his studios as well as his garage at home. Often after dinner, the children on the street would sit near the driveway and watch as he worked. He would explain what he was doing and often allowed his young audience to add small pieces of wax to his sculptures so they could feel they contributed something.
“On many occasions, someone would be driving down my street, glance in my garage and stop the car so suddenly that one could hear the screeching of the brakes,” Bloom said. “They thought they saw a real life-size bull in the garage.”
Bloom, an opera lover, created most of his sculptures with the music of Puccini in the background.
“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 constantly dig 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.”
The Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library is located at 5851 Cavendish Blvd. and is open from Mondayto Thursday from 10 am to 10 pm, and Friday to Sunday from 10 am to 6 pm. The Library remains open on all statutory holidays from 12 pm to 5 pm. For more information, call the library at 514-485-6900 or visitwww.csllibrary.org.