About Joseph Quillan
Jospeh Quillan has had a lifelong love affair with art, a passionate romance. Throughout his life, he has thrown himself into this work, focusing his attention on learning everything he could about his interests. Joseph discovered early that being an artist was simple for him. As a child, everything in his life related to drawing. "My parents even gave up the dining room table so I could paint commissions on it, " he says. "In school I would draw all day long. I could draw dozens of detailed drawings a day. When I went out to recess the nuns would go into my desk and throw all my drawings away. But of course, when there was a local competition or an artist would visit the school, they made sure to show me off. They even made me a tutor for the other students in grade school. Art for me was a wonderful discovery. I made friends with my classmates because I could draw them. I drew the basketball team; I drew people, animals, everything. Art was acceptance for me."
By the age of 16, Quillan's ability to draw and his passion for animals led to his first reward. In a pattern that has repeated itself many times in his life, he became obsessed with pedigree dog shows, Pointers, to be exact. He learned everything he could about the breed; read every book; memorized the pedigrees to six generations; attended show trials; talked to trainers, and began to paint watercolors of dogs. He was astounded that a teenager could earn the amazing sum of $160 for painting "Blicks Mojo Shinback" from a delighted patron. He studied in a veterinary program at Pierce College while continuing his studies in art.
Frustrated by formal art classes, Joseph discovered another obsession, the art of jewelry making. By the age of 20, he was taking courses at the Gemological Institute of America, and began to sell his work in California. His concern for the fragility of our marine environment stimulated him to craft marine life in his jewelry. He joined the American Cetacean Society, and learned all he could about whales. He began to show larger sculptures, and to win awards for his brilliant and sensitive work. In 1983, he was invited to Hawaii by Dolphin Galleries. He met Jim Killet in February, placed some sculptures in Lahaina Galleries and sold $5000 worth of art in one week. Joseph was the first marine life sculptor on Maui to show bronze castings of whales. For the next several years, Joseph's popular work won awards at many competitions. His career as a sculptor was firmly established.
For Joseph Quillan, art is his passion. In his hands, art takes on a life of its own. Many artists can shape a medium or form it. but only the truly gifted artist can ever communicate his unique vision through it. Joseph Quillan is that kind of artist.
Over the past fourteen years, Joseph Quillan has devoted his entire life to his work. Joseph maintains his studio in California where he sculpts his originals and makes his molds. Having worked with many fine art foundries, he has acquired the hands on experience essential to learning the art of bronze metal casting. To this day, he personally performs many of the complex and exhausting tasks involved in the creation of his sculptures. He is a perfectionist, insisting on the highest quality results in his sculpture.
"In my education, I have learned not to judge artists and their work. I have learned to look past the physicality of the art to search for what it means to me. I believe that sculpture is like a vessel offered to the viewer to fill with meaning, and that goes for all artistic expressions. As with all matters in life, you get out of it what you put into it." To search, to learn and then to reflect his experience through his art is an ongoing challenge in Quillan's life. The master sculptor must be able to apply his environment into his art. The true measure of an artist reveals itself only over a long period of time. Joseph Quillan at 38 can reflect with pride on journeys traveled down many successful paths.