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Bronze Gators

Tallahassee artist W. Stanley (Sandy) Proctor, of Washington and Lee’s Class of 1961, has forged a impressive reputation in the art world, including election to the Florida Artists Hall of Fame (joining such other luminaries as Ernest Hemingway, Ray Charles, Tennessee Williams, and Zora Neale Hurston). He began as a painter and stone carver, and his work has been displayed in the Smithsonian, among other museums.

He is best known for his bronze sculptures, which are on display throughout the country. In the past few days, Sandy and his work have garnered attention on sports pages in Florida and beyond, since he has been commissioned to create bronze statues of the University of Florida’s three Heisman Trophy-winning quarterbacks, Tim Tebow, Danny Wuerffel  and Steve Spurrier. The installation will be outside Florida Field in Gainesville and is scheduled for completion next year.

This will not be the only Florida football stadium where Sandy’s work appears. His statue of former Florida State coach Bobby Bowden stands outside Doak Campbell Stadium in Tallahassee. As a columnist in the Palm Beach Post noted, Florida Gator fans might think twice once they know that the same sculptor who created the Bowden sculptor is also doing their Heisman heroes — and doing them in Tallahassee, no less.

The Gainesville installation will be the latest in a series of the public and private commissions of monumental and portrait bronzes. These include a monumental sculpture of two Navy SEALs killed in the line of duty entitled, “The Guardians,” for the Veteran’s Memorial Park in Cupertino, Calif.;  the “Spartan” for the University of Tampa; “Eddie Stanky” for the University of South Alabama; and  “The Sunday Paper” for The Tallahassee Democrat in Florida.

One of his works, “Bandanna,” is currently located in the Roosevelt Room in the White House as a gift in 1995 from the Governor of Florida to the President of the United States.

To get an appreciation of the variety of Sandy’s work, you need to take a look at the galleries on his website.

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