My name is Glenn Allen Ball and I have been sculpting and painting since the age of 15. My first love was sculpture. I began working in clay, then went on to plaster, working by modeling the plaster with various tools and eventually creating blocks from which I would carve. I have always worked figuratively.
I was fascinated by the human body, and my early pieces were copies, from an anatomy book, of various parts of the skeletal system reconstructed in an abstract manner. I loved to carve, but had only a straight ¾” wood chiesel from my father’s tool chest. I worked to buy my first set of gouges and larger wood carving chisels. I could now carve the logs I had found left around by landscapers. The material was free, all I had to do was get it to my garage-studio. In the beginning I was, of course, self-taught, and made many mistakes, but once I had the chisel and mallet in my hand I was hooked. I now knew that I would devote my life to art, particularly sculpture. I was probably the only teenager in a NYC public high school to major in sculpture. This was at the expense of most of my other academic studies. I spent every night in my studio unaware of the passing hours and of how much this would change my life.
I became involved in a program through the NYC Board of Education, called “Meet the artist”. Each Saturday, for 10 months, our group of 6-8 students would visit a prominent working artist. This was an incredible experience, for it tought me that it was actually possible to make a living as an artist. I admired the commitment of these people, and wanted to be one of them. I applied for a scholarship to the School of Visual Arts in Manhattan. Having already produced a body of work, my portfolio was impressive. I received a 3 year full tuition scholarship as well as a yearly grant in aid for materials. I majored in sculpture and painting. During this period I also studied stone carving with Joel Brody, a prominent New York sculptor. I also apprenticed with Laurie Goulet, a well known sculptor at the New School in Manhattan. I worked with the painter John Manship, son of Paul Manship. I also studied painting with Jillian Peterson Kraig at Cornell University. I worked as a restoration artist for the Modern Art Foundry of Long Island City, repairing plaster casts damaged in the mold process, this gave me the chance to work on many world famous sculptures. In retrospect, after so many years, I can see that there was no turning back from the life that had so generously unfolded for me.