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John Nelson Battenberg

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Battenberg, John Nelson
Sculptor, Painter, Educator 3 Dec 1931 - 8 Jul 2012. John Battenberg passed away Sunday, July 8, after a lengthy illness. Born in Wisconsin in 1931, John did his undergraduate work at various mid-western universities. He also attended the Ruskin School at Oxford University for two years and received MFA degrees from both Michigan State University and The California School of Arts and Crafts. John was a Professor of Sculpture at San Jose State University and held the title of Professor Emeritus. He also lectured and served as an artist-in-residence at colleges and universities worldwide. John completed many large commissions, both public and private, spanning the United States and Europe. His work can be found in museums, galleries, private collections and universities. John is well known for his sculptures of North American wildlife and also for "The Pilot Series." In 1999, John completed an intense 2-year project, "The Procession:" gates for a private residence made up of intricately sculpted bronze panels mounted on cast aluminum, and spanning a massive 14 feet. He considered them his most monumental work. In 2000, he was honored with a "Distinguished Alumni" award from St. Cloud University. John continued to produce outstanding work until the end of his life, most recently developing a unique liquid-layering painting process. The consensus among those who have seen this work is that the paintings truly look "three dimensional." Commenting on his artistic journey, John had this to say: "One can look at my bio, and see that I am fortunate to have had a first-class education and a long list of formidable colleagues and acquaintances that have crossed my path, and me, theirs. I was also fortunate enough to lock in and gain a solid creative direction in my early thirties, when I started experimental sculpture using foundry techniques. My pursuits were the symbols and thoughts of the lost dreams of America. I do think the message was heard." Most recently residing in Scottsdale, Arizona, John is survived by his wife, Lynn; son, Sigurd; grandsons, Austin and Jason; Great-grandson, Ethan; stepson, Sean; brother, Jim; and countless friends, students and colleagues. A reception celebrating the life of John Battenberg will be held: Sunday, July 22, 2012, 2:00 - 5:00 pm, Cattle Track Artist Studios,
6105 Cattle Track Road, Scottsdale, AZ 85250.

Published in The Arizona Republic on July 15, 2012
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