Seven Daysies Awards: Best sculptor, 2022

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Best sculptor 

Chris Cleary

click to enlarge Chris Cleary - LUKE AWTRY
  • Luke Awtry
  • Chris Cleary

Chris Cleary — A wooden sculpture composed of three letters, YES, makes a statement in the front yard of sculptor Chris Cleary's house and studio in Jericho Center. His mailbox is perched on a set of stones, in descending size, that form an artful post. A walk around Cleary's place reveals that this imaginative, playful and bold artist is up for creating pretty much anything. YES, indeed!

In the garden, beautiful stonework that Cleary laid in the ground makes a passageway through phlox and lilies. A metal sculpture he crafted from soldered pipes is on view, though it's missing the urinal that once topped it. The work was paired with a pogo stick that could transport a daring user from the ground to the trough.

Cleary's yard is home to his word garden: stones that he sand-carves to write a word in the rock. While these pieces could last for eons, the fire-breathing Cleary is also known for setting some of his sculptures — including a 20-by-12-foot Champ — ablaze.

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