M.L. Snowden — on display at David W. Streets' Beverly Hills gallery
M.L. Snowden, the ultimate protégé of Auguste Rodin, has spent her life surrounded by sculpture. Her earliest memories and every waking moment of her life include sculpture. From the age of four, she played in her father's sculpture studio watching him with the unwavering attention of a child enthralled and enchanted. At the age of seven she began working with clay along side her father.
As she grew, she learned Rodin's transcendental sculpting techniques from her father, George Holburn Snowden, who had in turn been a favored student of Robert George Eberhard, a protégé of the great French sculptors Auguste Rodin, Antonin Mercié and Victor Peters. Each of the generations — the French masters, Swiss-born Eberhard, and American-born George Snowden — has contributed to the evolution of a unique heritage of sculpting that finds its contemporary expression through the spectacular works of M.L. Snowden.
Part of that heritage comes through the original sculpting tools of Auguste Rodin that have been passed from mentor to protégé for three generations. The tools, some of which she uses in sculpting her own works, are a symbol for Snowden — a symbol of the awe-inspiring foundation upon which her work is based. They provide a physical connection with the artistic inheritance that has been passed down to her and represent the utter devotion to sculpture of the artists who are part of Rodin's legacy. Snowden's own devotion to sculpture has been acknowledged through the awards that have been bestowed upon her and her work. Early in her career, she was awarded post-graduate study grants to the Vatican Collections in Rome, the Uffizi in Florence, and the Louvre in Paris. At the age of 36, she received the inaugural Alex Ettl Grant from the National Sculpture Society for Lifetime Achievement in American Sculpture. In 1992, she was awarded the world's most prestigious sculpture prize — the International Rodin Competition Special Grand Prize — for her sculpture Cataclasis, which is currently in the permanent collection of the Hakone Museum in Japan and the White House in Washington, DC.
In 2000, Snowden was commissioned from a field of 8,000 international portfolios, to be the sculptor for the Main Altar of the $200 million Los Angeles Cathedral dedicated in 2002. For this commission Snowden created a composition of Angels which uphold the 8 ton main altar. In addition, Snowden is the sculptor of the Angel Frieze for the Cathedral's visitor center, the first representation of a group of Angels for a permanent public setting in the history of the City of Los Angeles.
M.L. Snowden created a 14 foot high Glendale Police Memorial for the new $56 million civic plaza in the city of Glendale, CA. Most recently, M.L. Snowden was awarded the inaugural Presidential Order of Merit In Recognition of Significant Contributions to the Betterment of Humanity Through Art.
M.L. Snowden's current body of work evokes a geological theme of the impact of mankind on his environment. Snowden's sculpture humanizes the forces in nature, which lead to the formation and evolution of our Earth. Snowden's sculptural genius demonstrates itself in her ability to personify these forces and allow the viewer to feel and intuitively understand the phenomena that is otherwise only accessible as an abstract geological science. In the same forms, she communicates the nobler side of man's endeavors and issues a call to humanity, challenging us to recognize certain truths that are universal to all creation - whether it is organic or geologic in nature.