Born : 1928
SCULPTOR & PAINTER
Jurgis Šapkus is a contemporary Lithuanian painter and sculptor in Southern California. He was born in Lithuania, and came to the United States in 1952. He studied art at the Ecole des Arts et Métiers in Freiburg, at the Akademie der Bildenden Künste in Munich, Germany, and later at the School of the Art Institute in Chicago.
"Remember Me and all headaches will disappear."
Statue at the MPR at Meherabad
Pilgrim Retreat, the new building at upper Meherabad, is due to
open for full-time pilgrim accommodation next season, June 2006.
Construction is complete and the building is now undergoing furnishing and decoration.
While furniture building, administrative preparations, and the
outfitting of kitchen equipment are going on, another aspect of final preparation
is the installation of many works of art and decoration by a number artists.
For this purpose, a little colony of painters, decorators, sculptors, and picture framers
has been established in the building itself.
From August onwards several artists-in-residence have
been working on installing their pieces while they live in a few of the rooms at the Retreat.
Meals are delivered to them from the Pilgrim Centre.
The atmosphere is one of quiet dedication and long work hours. A tour
through the rooms, halls and courtyards shows an amazing variety of
pieces being created and installed, and the total effect is truly impressive
in magnitude. Notable too is the number of countries represented by
the artists. There are contributors from America, India,
Spain, England, Serbia, Australia, Lithuania, Iran and perhaps
some I've missed! In recent weeks there have been seven artists in
residence at the Retreat, another 6 or so at Meherabad working on some of the projects, and
at least another 7 artists who have works which will be installed over the next few months.
Jurgis Sapkus, originally from Lithuania, is a well-known Baba sculptor from Los Angeles.
When Jurgis arrived early in the pilgrim season, his first task was to travel to Makhrana, Rajasthan,
to acquire a large piece of white marble for his life-size sculpture of Baba and Mohammed Mast.
The trip to get the marble is a story in itself, a success, and his work in the courtyard at MPR
is shaping up beautifully.
Mohammed's laughing face and Baba's tender embrace are captivating as they
emerge from Jurgis's expert chisel strokes. The luminescent marble,
of the same type as India's Taj Mahal, is harder and more prone to splits than
the Arizonan marble Jurgis has used previously, so he finds this aspect of the work challenging.
Jurgis intends to finish the piece by the end of December.