Staying connected

Sculptor Gene Guibord interprets the natural world

SOULMATES Gene Guibord beside his work entitled “Ribbon.”

SOULMATES Gene Guibord beside his work entitled “Ribbon.”

Photo By Tom Angel

“There’s a dog that runs through my orchard two times a day,” says Chico sculptor Gene Guibord, pointing to his bronze piece entitled “Joie de Vivre” that captures the pup in full gallop. “He’s chasing something. Something’s chasing him. I envy that small animal.”

Guibord takes pleasure in the small wonders of the natural world, whether it’s the calm gaze of a red fox, a bear and her cub conferring in the woods, or two egrets engaged in a figure-eight dance at twilight. He recreates these creatures in the form of sleek bronze sculpture, striving for realistic renderings that are simple in line and form.

Guibord prefers simple explanations for his work, as well. “I don’t get into terms like metaphysical and metaphorical,” he says. “I see things in nature, and these are my interpretations.”

Seventeen of his interpretations, all of them breathtakingly crafted, are now showing at the Dovetail Design Gallery through the first week of November. Elegantly displayed amid the gallery’s oriental rugs and Arts and Crafts-inspired woodworking, most of the pieces sit upon black granite turntables, so that they can be viewed from all sides. One revolution reveals the interplay of light and shadow with Guibord’s glistening patinas.

Also part of the show are three of Guibord’s oil paintings, including two he did expressly for the exhibition. They, too, depict nature: horses, mountains, farming scenes. "As I get older, I grow more fond of nature," Guibord explains, with a smile. "I know it won’t be long before I am a part of it."