Mountain Air Creations

Beth Franz, Artist

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Creating Art to Honor Those Who Have Passed

John Taylor, 2014

jon with his brothers

This piece was commissioned by the Taylor family, of Mansfield, Ohio, to honor Jon, a courageous man who lived his life with passion and joy.  The photo shown here is from the unveiling ceremony.  Jon is flanked here by his brothers. 

At the unveiling ceremony, the Taylor family also presented a generous check for use by Progress Industries, a division of the Rehab Center.  Jon, who was diagnosed with a brain tumor as a child, worked at Progress Industries for more than 30 years, before he passed at the age of 54. 

The Taylor family worked with me throughout the creation of this piece in an effort to arrive at a finished piece that honored the courage and joy with which Jon chose to live his life.  Here are a couple photos that show the piece prior to its being cast in bronze, one with glasses and one without:


Johnny Appleseed

Various Johnny Appleseed Studies, 2002-2004

Willa Cather

Willa Cather, 2002 & 2004

These companion pieces – one of the young aspiring teacher and writer, the other of the mature novelist much later in her career – were created to honor one of America’s finest writers.  They were given to the Willa Cather Pioneer Memorial and Educational Foundation in 2004 to honor a writer who has given so much to so many over the years.


Tom, 2002

Early in my career, a friend of mine asked if I might try to capture a likeness of her husband.  He came over to sit for the pose, and I ended up taking a couple rolls of film of him and working mainly from the photos instead.  This was early in my career when I was still finding my process.  My friend and her husband were both happy with the end result, and I was grateful for the opportunity to learn more about my own creative process.


Aubry, 2011

Several years ago, my uncle contacted me and asked if I might do a piece to honor his grand-daughter, who had passed while still in her early teens.  The piece shows Aubry wearing her head bandage, which was a part of her regular head gear toward the end of her life.  My challenge as an artist was to capture the real life energy that Aubry displayed throughout her brief life.