CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- Besides honoring his late sister, former Gov. Gaston Caperton said that donating the "Wind Torn" sculpture to the Clay Center was a way for him to pay tribute to West Virginia-born sculptor Joe Moss.
Caperton owns another Moss sculpture, "Stone Eclipse," and described the sculptor as "world class."
Arif Khan, the Mary Price Ratrie curator of art at the Clay Center, agrees with Caperton's assessment. "I'm impressed with his use of materials and his long history with being involved with the arts in West Virginia," Khan said. "I think the Clay Center is an appropriate place for a piece of his art and we appreciate the donation from Governor Caperton," said Khan.
Moss' work has been exhibited at museums across the globe, including the Museum of Modern Art in New York. He's best known for his environmental installations, which are described as interactive art because of their combination of visual art with sound to create multi-sensory environments.
Moss, now 80, made the seven-hour trek from Delaware with his wife, Daphne, for the unveiling of "Wind Torn" on Saturday<co Aug. 17>.
In a telephone interview earlier this week, Moss said that he, too, was very fond of the sculpture he created in 1981 and had a photograph of it in his home. He described the picture taken in the snow with footprints leading up to the sculpture as being "so powerful and so beautiful."
His wife added, "The sculpture says a lot in a very serene way and it is fitting for a memorial."
Joe Moss said that he was looking forward to coming to West Virginia for the unveiling of the sculpture, especially since many of his recent voyages home have been sad occasions: "A lot of my old friends have died and I come home for the funerals."
Moss was born in 1933 in Kincheloe Creek, Harrison County, a community about four miles north of Jacksons Mill in Lewis County. He graduated from West Milford High School in 1951.
He said than when his father asked him what he was going study in college, he answered "art." His father had a good laugh and asked him what he was really going to study. When he again said "art," his father said "Young man, if I wanted to starve to death that's exactly what I'd do."