Born in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada
Richard Menard is an artist creating sculptural form in wood, stone and bronze. His wooden masks and three-dimensional pieces are made in fine red and yellow cedar, currently specializing in rare and exquisite burls. His work exudes a contemplative and serene presence, an eclectic mix of Eastern and Western philosophy and art, inspired by studies and travel. Celebrating twenty years of exploration in sculpture and carving, he has produced a 2007 limited edition bronze, “Migration”.
Menard’s early artistic expression was in two-dimensional form, photography and painting. First drawn to ‘black & white’ landscape photography in the early 1980’s, he extensively photographed the river valleys near his home in Edmonton. After moving to Vancouver BC in 1985, he began painting abstract landscapes in acrylics, working on 4’ x 5’ canvases.
His fascination with the natural world and the beauty of the West Coast of Canada took him to the remote village of Tofino on Vancouver Island, BC.On a second visit in 1987, he tried his hand at carving and discovered an affinity for working in wood.
Upon his return to Vancouver, he met renowned First Nations carver, Frances Horne, who guided him through his first pieces. In 1990, Richard decided to make Tofino his home where he worked alongside local carver, Henry Nolla, on Chesterman’s Beach. Nolla, who apprenticed with Roy Henry Vickers and worked extensively with the renowned artist, assisted Richard in refining his carving and tool-making techniques.
While developing his skills as a sculptor, Richard worked for six years as a marine naturalist guide. The phenomenal wildlife and natural beauty of this Pacific marine environment found its way into his work, which often features Gray Whales, Humpbacks, Orcas, and Bald Eagles.
Richard’s work has been greatly influenced by life on the West Coast including the First Nations people, particularly the Nuuchalnuth and Haida, whose art has provided great inspiration and teaching. Equally, his art has been influenced by spiritual exploration and practice. In the 1990’s, he encountered meditation and the self-realization teachings of Parmahansa Yogananda. During this time, Richard attended an international meditation institute in India to develop his meditation and yoga practice which both continue to be central to his life.
Richard and his partner now share a home and studios on Denman Island, one of the northern gulf islands off the east coast of Vancouver Island, BC, Canada.
“In our modern world, a great many of us experience a daily bombardment of noise, imagery and over-stimulation. I strive to create art that invites the viewer to contemplate, breathe and feel at peace.”
Migration 35 x 35 x 5 in. Bronze
Migration Original to Bronze 39 x 39 x 5 in. Wood and copper
Carving 36 x 36 in. Wood
Migration - The Cedar Original 35 x 35 x 6 in. Wood