Why is the worldwide headquarters of Anatomy in Clay® Learning System located in Loveland, Colorado?
We thought you would never ask!
Well, the answer resides in art.
Of course it does.
Anatomy in Clay® founder Jon Zahourek was an artist first—paintings, drawings, sculptures. He remains an artist to this day. Take a look at our models, they all started with Jon’s sculpting talent.
Art played a role in the Loveland location.
But so did love.
But let’s back up a bit.
Jon dropped out of college to go to art school in Denver. By 1962, he had become a full time painter and sculptor—respected among his peers primarily for his drawing. Jon's subject was almost exclusively the human figure.
His work led him to a community of artists living in Taos and then a few years later back to Denver. Jon Zahourek was among a handful of top artists including Ned Jacob, Buffalo Kaplinski, George Carlson and Fritz White.
He occasionally taught college-level drawing and continued to produce and sell art. In 1977, Jon and his family moved to New York City. He was invited by Parson's School of Design to be an instructor one day a week, teaching artists to draw human figures "out of their head."
No surprise, Jon is a big fan of the idea that artists develop their kinesthetic mind as they draw, paint and sculpt. Jon drew fast, painted fast. Years later he told The Denver Post that his work sought to catch “the impulse of life.”
Well, Jon realized that to for his students to enhance this ability, they needed a solid understanding of human anatomy.
So Jon created a scale model to demonstrate surface anatomy in (drum roll, please) clay.
Although he created the model and used clay to serve as a learning tool for his students, Jon realized that he was learning more about anatomy than they were.
And so the seeds of the Anatomy in Clay® Learning System were born. At the time, Jon was living in Jersey City, New Jersey—right across the Hudson River from New York City.
Here’s where the love comes in. Jon’s second wife Renee didn’t like the gloomy, gray East Coast. She was more of a “sunshine girl,” as Jon puts it today.
So Jon looked to move back west again.
Denver? Again? No. He had already bid farewell to Denver. You can’t go back when you’ve already said good-bye, right? If you’ve had a big send off, you need to stay gone, right?
Denver was emotionally off-limits, but sixty miles north was Art Castings of Colorado, a foundry using a process called lost-wax casting. Jon will tell you, in glorious detail, all the reasons why it’s a superior method for casting.
The foundry attracted a circle of artists and Loveland was developing a reputation as a magnet for sculptors.
So Jon settled on Loveland and started teaching again, all while working on the Anatomy in Clay® business, including week-long intensive workshops throughout the United States and Europe.
Yes, Jon “returned” to Denver. Eventually. That’s where the non-profit Anatomy in Clay® Centers is located today and it’s a thriving hub of activity today. But Loveland remains the corporate headquarters, thanks to art. (And love.)
Last month we brought our Anatomy in Clay® booth to the seminar for artists that precedes the annual Sculpture in the Park showcase right here in Loveland. It was a terrific day of interacting with artists and showing them our system.
And there was Jon, smack in the middle of dozens of conversations with artists from around the state and around the country, talking about drawing and demonstrating the system he developed.
Talk about full circle! Yes, you can go home again. Home is anywhere there are artists and art and people enthusiastic about learning and understanding human anatomy.
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