ST. JOSEPH, Mo. – Sculptor Jacob Burmood began his artistic journey carving wooden faces with a knife as a youth. Now he’s a professional artist with an entire body of work that can be seen across the nation.
Some of Burmood’s sculptures can be seen at Nellis Air Force Base in Nevada, the National Soccer Hall of Fame in Frisco, Texas and even Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City.
His sculpture at Arrowhead Stadium is an abstraction of a moving football at the south entrance gate.
“It’s pretty true to my style,” the St. Joseph resident told The Heartlander. “I was happy to be able to do something that reflected what I was trying to express, and still fit in with the client. It’s a 10-foot tall silver sculpture shaped like a football with the path of its movement tracing behind it. It’s on a four-foot-tall granite pedestal. There’s a lot of negative space, so there’s a lot of movement and elements moving around.”
Today, Burmood has a new work space at the former St. Joseph Fire Station built in 1955. The artist and his wife purchased the building to transform it into a home, and to utilize the fire truck bays as an art studio space.
The 42-year-old visual artist told The Heartlander his inspiration stems from the forces of nature, which governed the paths of streams that he walked the banks of as a child.
As he explains on his website, the reaction of the different forces have become “interwoven complexities that worked in conjunction” over time to create “a sense of deep harmony and simplicity.”
Burmood uses a process requiring more than 100 total steps.
“As an artist,” he writes, “I create forms through multiple layers of process and material to discover an underlying order that unifies elements and forces as they converge.”
“It’s extremely labor-intensive, and a lot can go the wrong way,” Burmood says.
As a late teen he transitioned from performing martial arts into a style of dance called “liquid,” which one website describes as “an illusion-based kind of gestural, interpretive dance that is one of the most expressive and flexible dance genres available today. In other words, it is a dance form that uses smooth gestures and body motions to create the illusion that the dancer’s body is as movable as liquid, hence the name of the dance.”
The dance style gave him his second inspiration for art with a flow.
While Burmood attended art classes at Missouri State University, the late Professor Dwaine Crigger got him excited about sculpting and became his guide and mentor. Jacob later received his Master of Fine Arts in ceramics at the University of Kansas and a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in sculpture from Missouri State University before beginning his career.
Burmood says sculpting was never a cheap career option, as metals and intermediary material prices have even tripled in recent years. The most recent four-foot bronze sculpture he created cost a cool $12,000 to make.
Leopold Gallery in Kansas City represents him and has helped him orchestrate deals to sell his work to major buyers and corporations.
Burmood will speak about his sculpture “Art in Motion” at the Springfield Art Museum on June 23 at 6 p.m in Springfield, Missouri.