Tug-o-War, 2001


Brad Spencer


Brad Spencer received his BFA in Painting and Drawing from UNCG in 1980, and his MFA in Sculpture in 1983. During his undergraduate work in painting, he studied with Andrew Martin and Wally Barker. He took sculpture as an elective course, through which he discovered his calling. As a graduate student in sculpture, he studied almost exclusively with his mentor, Peter Agostini.

Tug-o-War was inspired by a large work Spencer saw while traveling in Mexico. That piece depicted fisherman pulling a boat out of the water. Spencer had already been working figuratively, showing people in situations of struggle or interaction. Tug-o-War captures that sense of struggle between two sides or ideas, however, on either side the individuals support each other through tension. Mastery of the human figure is central to Spencer’s idea of being a good artist, and he achieves this in these small-scale muscular figures he has molded in clay. He also creates sculpture for the public, and in Greensboro Spencer designed relief work for NewBridge Bank Park, home of the Greensboro Grasshopper baseball team.

Spencer is one of the few UNCG students to create art work purchased by the Weatherspoon Art Museum. In Greensboro, his work has been shown at the Weatherspoon and Green Hill Center for NC Art. He shows extensively through galleries, and makes both private and corporate commissioned sculpture.