A master of conveying visual richness, emotional depth, and humor, Rick breathes a unique personality into his work. His primary technique, creating bas-relief woodcarving, offers a complex and engaging narrative within the confines of an exceptionally thin medium.
Rick Harney is a resident of Normal and graduate of Illinois State University. From his studio located in Bloomington's Cultural District, he makes figurative drawings, paintings, and sculptures. Working with a wide range of sculptural media, including bronze, ceramic, paper mache, and many varieties of wood, he skillfully renders historical figures, family members, and friends. Harney also creates inventive characters, based on events, memories, and feelings in his private life.
His commissioned works include life-sized bronzes of Abraham Lincoln at the Livingston County Courthouse Square in Pontiac, the McLean County History Museum in Bloomington, and the Danville Historical Society in Danville. His sculptures are in the collections of McDonald's Corporate Headquarters in Oakbrook, IL, as well as Country Mutual Insurance Company and the Central Illinois Regional Airport in Bloomington. Other public works are on view at Central Catholic High School, Illinois State University, Illinois Wesleyan University, and Asahikawa, Japan, (Bloomington/Normal Sister Cities).
Harney has taught both credit courses and noncredit classes at Heartland Community College, community classes at the McLean County Arts Center, and numerous hands-on arts experiences for special populations at local public schools. Nationally, he has led sculpture workshops in Illinois, Iowa, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, North Dakota, and Wisconsin.
Depth Defying Art Woodcarving Illustrated, Fall 2016