July 11, 2009
JACKSON â€" Sam Goreâ€™s newest masterpiece attracted art patrons, legal scholars, students and scores of other admirers of his craft to the Mississippi College School of Law in Jackson.
On a steamy June day, nearly 100 Mississippians delivered their unanimous verdict: they judged his 3,000-pound sculpture of Jesus and his disciples to be magnificent. Goreâ€™s 12-foot-tall bronze is the companion piece to his â€œMoses the Lawgiverâ€ on display on an exterior wall at the downtown Jackson law school.
â€œIt is a fabulous piece of work,â€ commented retired federal judge Charles Pickering, a Jackson attorney. â€œI was greatly impressed.â€
So was Mississippi Arts Commission Executive Director Malcolm White, who heaped praise upon the internationally celebrated artist and 1951 Mississippi College graduate. â€œThis is a magnificent and inspired piece,â€ he said during remarks during dedication ceremonies.
But in typical fashion, the former MC art department chairman refused to take credit for his two-year labor of love. â€œThis is not about me,â€ the 81-year-old Gore said before leading the gathering in prayer. The Texas native says heâ€™s â€œplaced my life in Godâ€™s handsâ€ and heâ€™s â€œintent on following his will in my life.â€
While temperatures sizzled in the mid-90s, Gore demonstrated the power of his faith at the June 17 dedication as he molded the face of Jesus Christ out of clay. The sounds of â€œAmazing Graceâ€ and other sacred music played on the loudspeaker in the School of Law Courtyard.
Of the larger sculpture, Gore stated, â€œThe title and primary statement of this sculpture is the central message of the Sermon on the Mount which begins with Matthew 5:1, â€œand seeing the multitudes he went up to the mountain and when he was seated, his disciples came to him.â€
The piece â€œis a visual drama with a cast of Jesus, his disciples and several thousand broken-spirited, disconsolate and mournful people subjected to harsh conditions under Roman occupation.â€ The setting is the Northern area of the Sea of Galilee.
During the program, Jim Rosenblatt, law school dean, noted that Goreâ€™s two pieces of work can easily be seen by people on the sidewalk as they walk by the downtown Jackson campus. â€œWe wanted to share this with the community,â€ he said of the Moses and Jesus sculptures.
â€œIn dramatic fashion, Dr. Goreâ€™s work completes the law series commissioned for the Law School,â€ Rosenblatt said. â€œI know he was inspired as he used his creative genius, his artistic skills and his energy to craft these works that convey such a powerful message. It is said that one picture is worth a thousand words, then these two works of Dr. Goreâ€™s are worth a trillion words!â€