Born February 6, 1932, Boston, Mass
I tend to focus on subjects familiar to me or which give me a special sense of personal satisfaction. Much of my work is action oriented. I want people to be able to identify with it to understand what is going on. I want viewers to recognize and feel some of the same emotion that made the piece happen. For example, when people see Sack Race I want them to smile and hear the voice inside them saying, Yes, I remember.
Ashby Saunders worked in advertising, public relations, and real estate before becoming a sculptor. Saunders rediscovery of his love of clay coincided with a dramatic loss of vision, triggering his retirement from real estate and pursuit of sculpture. Thankfully his vision does not hinder his ability to create heartfelt sculptures of clay and bronze.
Saunders sculptures tell short and simple stories through subject matter and movement. Saunders aims to capture a personal emotion in his sculpture so that the story instilled in the piece creates a sense of nostalgic joy and personal connection within the viewer. In order to achieve this, Saunders often sculpts people frozen in motion and absorbed by lifes joy.
The installation of Sack Race in the Central Park of Doylestown in 1998, has elicited much pleasure from viewers with its whimsical figures full of humanity and glee. The overwhelmingly positive response to this work lead to another commission from the Bucks County community in 2008, in which Saunders created The Community Service and Veterans Memorial , a service memorial in honor of ordinary citizens who have benefitted the community since colonial times. Ambiguous portraits that adorn the relief sculpture symbolize the various roles and occupations of Bucks County citizens through headgear, clothing, and accessories.
Although primarily self-taught, Saunders has studied with local sculptors, George Anthonisen and Mary Louise Wentzel.