John Schwarz - Reluctant Hero
American, b.1959
Reluctant Hero, 2007
Found object assembladge, 72 x 104 x 21 inches

Alumni Gift

"The found object sculpture Reluctant Hero came to life first on paper with many simple winged robot drawings, and then materialized from rivets and parts from my studio work shop. The overall look I was hoping to achieve for Reluctant Hero was a combination of a techno-robot morphed together with a flying super hero.

Reluctant Hero was constructed out of 90% recycled materials (by weight). Some of the parts for Mr. Hero I just recently picked up at the metal recycler and others I have had since I was in high school. Most of the nuts and bolts and all the rivets to put him together are new. Whenever possible I kept the color[s] of the materials original. In my early plans for Reluctant Hero I visualized him with rocket engines on his back and huge propellers lifting him from his shoulders. I really liked the look of ribbed wings like the early flying machines that Leonardo da Vinci designed. I wanted to incorporate that kind of primitive functionality to his mechanical body. With the addition of the wings and tail he has taken on a more Native American robot/kachina appearance."

John Schwarz, Artist

"I spotted the Reluctant Hero at a gallery opening in 2007. Unconsciously, the thought popped into my head: "Oh, that's a student getting ready to lift off into a new adventure with us. Up on the tip-toes, wings ready to soar…" As the artist intended, the Reluctant Hero reminded me of a Kachina doll, of the Hopi Indians, representing the spirits' coming to help bring harmony and balance to life. A "hero" is one who acts with nobility of purpose and that's the nobility of our pursuit as a community to, through business activity, bring harmony to the world. Then, for me, it was a great added feature that all the elements of the Reluctant Hero are recycled - or rather repurposed, underlying the fulfilling transformations we all continue to experience through our participation in an educational community.

I am also glad the Reluctant Hero is here just to inject some whimsy into our sometimes overly serious pursuits."

Robert J. Dolan, Dean