Hannah's Setting Sun

Ashley Gray's interpretive sculpture of a great blue heron is truly a work of art. The story behind the scenes is one of loss and inspiration.

By: Jamie Welsh
Photographs courtesy the Ward Museum by Wes Demarest

Ashley Gray began carving at the age of eight, but it wasn't until he began working with well-known carver and instructor Ron Broadwater five years later that he fully began to realize his potential. Late, he received instruction from renowned carver and bronze artist Barton Walter. Obviously, though, he had innate talent—during his senior year in high school Ashley was named Maryland's top student artist. He also spent several months under the tutelage of flat artist Larry Lucio, father of World Champion Jason Lucio and noted carver Laura Lucio. He considers his time in their studio as one of the most rewarding periods in his carving career. In the 1990s, Ashley won many best in shows and earned acclaim with an innovative one-piece sculpture of a blue-winged teal pair, followed by another of a pair of ring-necked ducks. With his many ribbons and best-in- show wins, Ashley's credentials as a world class carver are obvious. But all of these achievements would not have been possible without the unconditional support and encouragement of his parents, Mason and Hannah. It's to his mother that Ashley dedicated Hannah's Setting Sun

This article is from the Winter 2012 issue. For more information on our issues, check out our issues page.


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