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The Richmond sculptor behind some of Virginia’s most iconic pieces of art

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RICHMOND, Va. -- While many people commute to work by car. Paul DiPasquale simply walks a few steps through his backyard.

“I think anyone’s goal is to find a job that they love to do," said DiPasquale. “I wanted to make a living as a sculptor.”

His office in Fulton Hill is a place he calls his laboratory. DiPasquale experiments for hours under the watchful eye of his captive audience of small models he has created over the years from Thomas Jefferson to General Colin Powell.

“Anything you’re going to get good at requires practice and that is going to be in solitude,” he said.

Paul DiPasquale

Paul DiPasquale

You may not know his name, but you most certainly know his handy work. The sculptor with a passion for history is responsible for iconic pieces of public art.

Paul DiPasquale created the Arthur Ashe statue on Monument Avenue with the tennis great’s approval more than 30 years ago. A statue the artist laments was long overdue.

Arthur Ashe statue

Arthur Ashe statue

“So my goal was to have Richmond honor her native son,” he said. "Across the board he was a man of integrity. I would say it was something that Richmond had ignored.”

DiPasquale also can take credit for the statue of, Connecticut, the Native American overlooking the James River. Connecticut sat at The Diamond until it was moved to the old Lucky Strike building along the James River.

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Connecticut

“My intention was to raise consciousness of the people who settled this area 10,000 years before we got here.”

Depesquale’s artwork not only entertains, but delivers a message.

“Public sculpture to my way of thinking has to address a public need or a social need,” he said of his art.

The 65-year-old artist also made a splash on Virginia Beach.

“So Neptune was the statue of my dreams in that I had complete reign to do what I wanted. My sculpture was going to be a colossus,” he added.

neptune

Neptune

Depesquale’s 34 foot seaside work towers over the boardwalk.

“Right out of the gate I saw an opportunity to present Neptune as a sentinel of the ocean. A guardian of the sea,” he said.

All worthy accomplishments for a UVA and VCU graduate who initially wanted to be a veterinarian.

“Organic chemistry changed my plans,” he recalled.

Paul DiPasquale

Paul DiPasquale

Paul DiPasquale is a soft-spoken artist whose works speak volumes across the landscape of Richmond and beyond.

“The success of them is gratifying for me. And provides motivation to create work that is enjoyed by people.”

His latest creation is a 20-foot-tall memorial in Virginia Beach dedicated to police officers who have fallen in the line of duty.

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