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 Ivan Schlutz  (20th century)

About: Ivan Schlutz


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Lived/Active: United States      Known for: sculptor-Indian figure

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This biography from the Archives of AskART:
Ivan Schlutz is a traditional sculptor of bronze art. He has been noted as a top sculptor of Native American art by Art of the West magazine. His sculptures have received the Award of Honorable Mention from the Plains Artists national competition as well as People's Choice Award in Colorado competitions. His sculpture "The Spirit Seeker" was purchased for the City of Loveland from hundreds of sculptures submitted at the famous Sculpture in the Park bronze sculpture show in Colorado. This show is the largest bronze art show representing the finest sculptors. Schlutz has gained invaluable knowledge and skills from his close friend and mentor Fritz White (Cowboy Artist's Association). Collectors in Europe, Canada and across the US have sought his work. The quality of his work is always his first concern. His goal is to capture history in the form of art that is technically excellent.

Although his artwork has gained considerable recognition, even more infamous is Schlutz's personal story of how he became an artist. His art and life story have been featured on The Discovery Health Channel, CBS's The Ordinary and the Extraordinary; TBS's Ripple's Believe it or Not, numerous newspapers, magazines, and radio stations.

Working on his parent's buffalo and horse ranch in Longmont, Colorado Schlutz learned at an early age the meaning of a hard day's work and the value of a dollar. He continues to help with the ranch today and has built an art studio and gallery there. Schlutz's logo is the ranch brand. He pursued a career as a commercial pilot and was also an airplane mechanic. Schlutz obtained his airframe and powerplant licenses from Colorado Aerotech and then a bachelor degree in Aviation from Metro State College in Denver. He had his multi-engine commercial pilot's licenses and flew tours of the Grand Canyon in Arizona and of the Front Range in Colorado as a commercial pilot.

It looked as though his aviation career was taking off after landing interviews with the major airlines. Tragically, in 1990 Schlutz was involved in an accident while repairing an aircraft engine. A propeller struck him in the head, crushing the left side of his skull. After a touch-and-go surgery, he awoke to discover that he was paralyzed on his right side and his career as a commercial pilot gone.

Schlutz's therapists gave him some clay to work his fingers and hopefully regain movement of his hand. Painful daily therapy to retrain his brain to move his limbs consumed his life for months and eventually years. He was determined and progressed quickly. He worked constantly with the clay between his fingers and soon began to make small sculptures. These sculptures became an obsession and soon it was apparent that a true talent had emerged from his tragic accident.

His brain is easily over stimulated and he must keep his surroundings somewhat controlled. His inability to shutdown his mind makes it very difficult to sleep. When he does sleep, he often dreams of stories he has read. Ivan is an avid history student of the West and Native Americans. He often has lifelike dreams of his readings. These powerful dreams give him visions that he 'must' capture in his sculptures. Although Schlutz will deal with headaches and partial paralysis for life, he has recovered to the point that his limitations are invisible to most observers. He hopes that he will leave something behind for all to enjoy.

Dena Schlutz

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