Black Westchester spotlights Sculptor Milton Sherrill whose work has been seen everywhere but very few people know the man behind the sculpture. We met Mr. Sherrill at the Mount Vernon Chamber of Commerce roundtable in last October, where he was one of the guest speakers. But wasn’t until covering the various court cases where the candidates were trying to knock each other off the ballot the last six weeks or so, did I truly appreciate the work of this great sculptor.
In the middle of the Court House Plaza in front of the Richard J. Daronco Westchester County Courthouse located at 111 Martin Luther King Blvd (btwn Quarropas St. & Martine Ave.) in White Plains stands tall, one of Milton’s greatest creations, the Reverend Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Westchester County Memorial created Jan. 15, 2007 (according to a plaque attached to the statue) and dedicated June 16, 2007. The statue has been the home to many marches and rallies in Westchester County.
Milton’s interest in art began as a child, but his academic and professional development commenced after his military experience in the United States Air Force. He attended Cooper Union (1972-73) and then the State University of New york, Old Westbury Campus (1973-74) where he earned a Bachelor Of Arts Degree in Fine Arts.
“I earned a Master of Fine Arts Degree from Pratt Institute in 1976,” shares Sherrill. “My area of concentration was sculpture, with intensive studies in welding casting and plastics technology. I also studied painting and filmmaking, which I have applied to my art.”
Since then been displayed everywhere from Madison Avenue and Soho in New york, to the Miracle Mile in Chicago, to Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills. his work has ben featured in many newspapers and magazine articles including; The New York Times, Westchester Magazine, the Daily News Magazine, Black Enterprises, Essence, Jet and the International Review of African-American Art.
Sherrill has been commissioned to sculpt a historical, bronze sculpture in honor of Olympic Gold Medalist, Florence Griffith Joyner Award by the One Child Our Village Foundation, Inc in Beverly Hill and a 12 foot bronze sculpture of Dr. martin Luther King jr by Westchester County. he has also been commissioned by The City Of New York, Selchow and Righter Company, The Apollo Theater Hall Of Fame, the City of Mount Vernon, National Coalition of 100 Black Women and Univ of Tennessee at Chattanooga, just to name a few.
Currently Milton Sherrill is working on The Legend Series, which will consist of up to 25 sculptures to document the history of African-American men and women who have made significant contributions to American society.
“As I mentioned to you in our last conversation AJ, I’m very excited about my new project, The Legend Series, Sherrill shares with Black Westchester. “This is a body of fine art that captures its subject in their own particular professional environment. The Legend Series will include 20-25 sculptures, cast in bronze, representing a cross-section of time periods and subjects ranging from Harriet Tubman to Michael Jordan. These represent and symbolize just two of those individuals who made great personal contributions.”
Each sculpture in the series begins with a working wooden platform and steel and a flexible aluminum wire armature. Next, oil-based clay is applied to the armature that supports it. Then the compositions are developed and finished, molds are made, a wax casting is taken from each mold and used for bronze casting.
“I believe it’s very important to document these individuals in a three-dimensional format,” says Sherrill. “I have completed various phases of the work based on funding I had at the time. To date I have completed all of the sculptures in clay, and 75% of rubber molds and several bronze castings have been completed (Harriett Tubman, Arthur Ashe and the Barack Obama head. My goal is to raise money for completion of all rubber molds. If there is any overage in funds I raise, I will use any surplus money to cast additional bronzes.”
Black Westchester salutes this African-American sculpture for his years of working documenting the history our people and contributions to the city of Mount Vernon and County of Westchester.