Fulfillment of a childhood dream.
Sondra specializes in life-size sculpture and intricate mosaics, and not so long ago installed the life-size sandhill crane here in Kearney.
For Sondra Jonson, her career in art has been the fulfillment of a childhood dream. By first grade, she began to imagine her future as a professional artist; and by junior high she was taking weekend classes at the Philadelphia College of Art and studying privately in the summers with portrait painter Marian Harris.
After graduating with a B.A. in studio art from Bryn Mawr College, Jonson enrolled at the Frudakis Academy of Fine Art in Philadelphia and spent the next two years learning classical figurative and portrait sculpture from famed American sculptor EvAngelos Frudakis.
Jonson’s career in sculpture began to flourish when she established her studio in southwest Nebraska in 1995. Most of her more than 100 sculpture installations in over 25 states and Canada have been created since moving to Nebraska. It was on the Great Plains that Jonson found a demand for the skills, techniques and themes she had mastered.
Jonson has exhibited in numerous juried art shows and has won People’s Choice, Best in Show, and Children’s Choice in venues such as the Stuhr Museum Wings Over the Platte Exhibit, Sioux Falls Sculpture Walk, Salina Sculpture Walk, Hutchinson Sculpture Walk and Ames, IA Sculpture Walk. Recently she was a finalist in the ARC International Exhibition of Realism in Art. Her favorite projects are private commissions. The challenge of designing original artwork to meet a customer’s needs or wishes is a unique and exciting journey for both the artist and the patron.
Her studio in Cambridge, Nebraska, faced some danger during the spring fires nearby, but survived intact. Over the years, Jonson had had the privilege of working with the next generation of fine artists, including her son Joe McHale, brother to her other sons Michael and Thomas. She “sheltered” in Kearney with Joe until the fire-danger had abated. Joe is one of the Kearney Artists involved in The Brickwalk Gallery (northside of the old McCue’s and across from Kitt’s Coffee). You can see his art and the gallery featured in the poster-shot in the array of photos with this article. The Brickwalk has also hosted the 2021 upper grades school art exhibit during the closure of MONA for their building project. You can see our entry on this site about school artist exhibits.
Biographical details thanks to Sondra Jonson, write-up by Chuck Peek