Richard Pankratz always knew that he would become an artist. As a child, he declared his passion for creation and made his intention clear. He then set about to making his dream a reality. Despite a small school district that did not have the capacity to offer art curriculum, he assembled a portfolio of works and was admitted to the Kansas City Art Institute.
Even when Pankratz was swayed to pursue a second skill he never strayed far from his goal, earning a teaching certificate in art from Emporia Kansas State University. He taught art for eleven years before returning to his passion. He left teaching to fulfill his dream, and with the same determination that he demonstrated as a child he embarked on the path of an artist.
This intention that has fueled Pankratz to create is also evident in his sculptures. Each of his works is an act of communication. His work is more than just something to look at, but an active form of interaction with the audience as they contemplate the meaning and message conveyed in the form.
Pankratz strives for a sense of timelessness in his work, and his ability to convey human truths in the nuance of pose calls to something deeper within the self. Women laugh and play in Happy Dance, reminding viewers of joy with those close to them. Or there is the moment of mutual respect in Friends. Then there is the same sense of determination that fueled Pankratz’s career in Reaching.
From the determination of childhood to the careful intent in his work today Richard Pankratz is a man who dared to achieve his dreams.