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On Gratitude & Giving Back

Among the central tenets of Richard's worldview is a deep appreciation for the institutions that steward cultural education and growth through multiple generations. Richard recognizes that, through the embrace of several world-class institutions, his creativity was nourished and his career as a sculptor allowed to take root. It is with this spirit of immense gratitude that he has recently gifted several major works to the educational institutions that have most impacted him: his alma mater, the University of Vermont (where he was awarded an honorary doctorate degree of letters in 2016) and his high school, Burr & Burton Academy

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During the first weeks of 2019, a small group gathered at Richard's Williston studio to celebrate the gift of his bronze Volante to outgoing UVM president Tom Sullivan, and his wife Leslie. "Tom and Leslie understand the necessity of making art a part of everyday life and learning," Richard said. "They know that the advancement of culture and the stimulation of our senses is what defines being human." During a winter visit to campus, Richard identified the perfect place to install the work: at the top of the sweeping stairs in the Davis Student Center, where it appears dramatically poised to take flight. The inscription reads: To Tom and Leslie Sullivan, who made this university soar. 

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Omni Piu in the University of Vermont's Discovery Hall

Volante will join other works in the university's growing public sculpture collection, in which Richard is represented prominently. In addition to Volante and several purchased sculptures, the collection now includes Omni Piu, a gift from Richard to commemorate the newly opened STEM complex, Discovery Hall. The entrancing, Möbius-like coil of Peruvian travertine is installed in the building's central hallway, a familiar anchor for students studying on the nearby couches and those bustling to class alike. 

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Richard with Miranda

In celebration of another significant new educational initiative, Richard has donated his petit granite Miranda to Burr and Burton Academy, where it will be installed in a new state-of-the-art classroom facility being built as part of the school's Rowland ProjectMiranda will compliment the smaller bronze work Alysse, which Richard donated to Burr and Burton in 2015 upon receiving the school's Alumni Achievement Award. 

As Richard puts it, he hopes that these gifts will bring wonder "to the hearts and minds of students and visitors for centuries to come." 

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