Tom Elicker - Sculptor
Ward Tomlinson ‘Tom’ Elicker graduated from The Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts in 1992. Now a highly accomplished figurative sculptor/designer with over twenty-five years of professional experience, Tom’s work is found domestically and internationally in public and private installations and collections. Tom has maintained his passion for figurative work from his classical education, and expounded upon it by drawing from extensive travels and living abroad.
In 1993 he and his wife, Alice, moved to Puerto Rico, built a foundry in the mountains near
San Lorenzo, and spent four years there sculpting and exhibiting in San Juan’s premier, Galleria Botello. In 1995 he installed his first public work, 'Ulysses' in the San Patricio Plaza, San Juan. They departed the island in 1997, but maintain close connections with Tom’s work still revered and exhibited.
In 1998 Tom returned to Philadelphia and established a clay/mold studio. In 1999, he built a foundry, and by 2004 his casting facility had grown into an elite art-casting corporation, “Ward Elicker Casting”. The facility that he built had the capacity to pour three thousand pounds of bronze a day and employed up to thirty-two staff. He and his team worked with such esteemed sculptors as Julienne Schnabel, Kiki Smith, Tom Otterness and Zada Hadid, and cast the works of George Segal, Edward Tuffty, Peter Marino AIA, James Angus, and Michele Oka-Doner. His major projects included the bronze inlays in the terrazzo floor of the Miami International Airport.
In addition to the many exciting projects that were produced in his foundry for other artists, it was the birthplace of Tom’s own commissioned pieces. In 2006, he was awarded the opportunity to create a large-scale public piece for the city of Philadelphia’s Chinatown. Working with the concept of a ‘dragon parade’ and the true nature of the mythical Chinese dragons, Tom designed, sculpted, cast, and installed ‘The Dragons’ at Ninth & Arch Streets. This commission consisted of four, dynamic, 16-foot dragons mounted on curved poles above the sidewalk, giving the impression of alive, writhing creatures in flight.
Tom also interpreted a sketch of Leonardo DaVinci’s concept of a vertical flight machine, and created a large sculpture of this precursor of today’s helicopter for the Agusta Westland Corporation’s U.S. corporate headquarters. It creates the center of the main entry roundabout, and is located at Philadelphia’s North East International Airport.
Ponce De Leon in San Juan, PR was another significant project. Tom worked posthumously with sculptor Lindsay Daen, and re-interpreted a twenty-four inch maquette that his friend did in 1964. Today this piece stands twelve feet tall at the entrance of the headquarters of Banco Popular, in Hato Rey, San Juan, Puerto Rico. Ward has worked closely with the heads of multi-national corporations, top architects and designers as well as some of the world’s leading artists. Over the years, he has employed and trained many people who have dedicated their lives to sculpture and the pursuit of artistic careers.
In the summer of 2014 Tom moved to Frederiksted, St Croix where he has established a studio. Investing in the local community, Ward has brought life to the historic blacksmith shop located in the St George Botanical Gardens. In addition to creating unique works of steel art inspired by the Gardens and island culture, he has established an apprentice program giving local youth experience in the traditional trade skill of blacksmithing. He is accepting commissions for the bronze sculptures for which he is renowned - his passion being for promotion of the unique cultural stories of the Caribbean.
In 2016 Tom was trusted to restore the iconic, ‘La Rogitiva,’ the sculpture created by Lindsay Daen in 1971, that has achieved international fame. It is one of Puerto Rico’s most celebrated tourist attractions in the historic Old San Juan. Work was completed in December.
Currently Tom’s work is on special exhibit at the Lawaetz Museum, St Croix, the St George Botanical Gardens, St Croix, the Gun Powder Room Gallery, English Harbor, Antigua and the Galleria Botello, San Juan, Puerto Rico.