3,000-pound sculpture delights MC Law School audience

July 11, 2009



JACKSON â€" Sam Gore’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. Gore’s 12-foot-tall bronze is the companion piece to his “Moses the Lawgiver” on display on an exterior wall at the downtown Jackson law school.  


“It is a fabulous piece of work,” commented retired federal judge Charles Pickering, a Jackson attorney. “I was greatly impressed.” 


So was Mississippi Arts Commission Executive Director Malcolm White, who heaped praise upon the internationally celebrated artist and 1951 Mississippi College graduate. “This is a magnificent and inspired piece,” 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. “This is not about me,” the 81-year-old Gore said before leading the gathering in prayer. The Texas native says he’s “placed my life in God’s hands” and he’s “intent on following his will in my life.” 




Clay demonstration 


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 “Amazing Grace” and other sacred music played on the loudspeaker in the School of Law Courtyard. 


Of the larger sculpture, Gore stated, “The title and primary statement of this sculpture is the central message of the Sermon on the Mount which begins with Matthew 5:1, “and seeing the multitudes he went up to the mountain and when he was seated, his disciples came to him.” 


The piece “is 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.” The setting is the Northern area of the Sea of Galilee. 


During the program, Jim Rosenblatt, law school dean, noted that Gore’s two pieces of work can easily be seen by people on the sidewalk as they walk by the downtown Jackson campus. “We wanted to share this with the community,” he said of the Moses and Jesus sculptures. 


“In dramatic fashion, Dr. Gore’s work completes the law series commissioned for the Law School,” Rosenblatt said. “I 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. Gore’s are worth a trillion words!”