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Bringing history to life through cast bronze is what artist Chad La Fever loves to do. He works to create bronze public art sculptures and fine art bronze cast fossils merged with wood and stone to create an artistic homage to Earth's prehistoric past while telling stories through his art. La Fever has a bachelor of arts degree in Cultural Anthropology/Archaeology from the University of Nevada. Originally from California, he moved to Mid-Missouri and has made an impact with his art for everyone to enjoy.

His first exposure to the world of cast bronze fine art was not intentional. He began working for a fine art foundry in 2014 as a bronze metal chaser and fabricator. He was taken by the medium right away and found a love and passion he didn't know would flourish into a career. Almost immediately, the seed was planted, and he knew sculptures were his future.

He spent seven years of fabricating bronze sculptures for many well-known artists and considerably developed his skills. Over the years, he has had the good fortune to be involved with a large range of bronze sculptures, from small, highly detailed pieces to larger-than-life monuments. Pursuing his professional career in the fine art bronze industry has enhanced his skill set by giving him experience with mold-making, wax work, casting, finishing and patina. It also prepared him to move forward and pave his own path as a professional sculptor.

La Fever's most recent completed piece will find a permanent home at Community Park, 725 Marshall St. It is a bronze sculpture called "Adjacent." He provided the following artist statement in relation to the new piece you can view at Community Park anytime during and after today's Juneteenth celebration, which is from 4-8 p.m. La Fever will be attending this celebration to dedicate his sculpture to the park at 5:30 p.m.

"The inspiration for this sculpture doesn't come directly from a single story or moment in the history of the Foot District but rather from the collection of experiences described by members of the neighborhood, particularly the persistent impact of segregation and racism on the community. This sculpture is a commentary on segregated co-existence and represents the very different lives of Black and white people living near one another, yet worlds apart. Both figures are standing together in familiar and intimate proximity, but a wide gulf exists between them and they are not fully engaged. With heads hung and nearly in contact, there is a sense of sadness, hesitation and resignation. But there is also the feeling that the two figures are coming together with the intention of moving forward."

You can find some of Chad La Fever's smaller works in local art galleries around town, or follow him on social media at m.facebook.com/artiquitybronze/.

Leann Porrello is the cultural arts specialist with the Jefferson City Parks, Recreation and Forestry Department.

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