Victor Issa donates sculptures to Union College

LINCOLN–Alumnus Victor Issa presented two sculptures to the Union College Division of Fine Arts Friday, April 8, during Homecoming Weekend. Issa's wife, Candy, and two youngest daughters were present at the ceremony, along with college faculty, alumni and students.

'Ascension,' sculpted in bronze, shows a female dancer in upward movement. As described by the artist, the idea of ascension in this piece is to be free–not only to take a leap but to continue upward. 'Jester,' sculpted in forton (a plaster substance bonded with polymer), is a life-size bust of a larger, full-body piece installed in Wichita, Kan. Both pieces, valued together at more than $9,000, will be prominently displayed in Engel Hall.

As an immigrant from Lebanon, Issa took introductory English classes at Union where he felt warmly embraced by the college. He earned a B.S. in art education in 1980. Through the influence of his Union College professors, Issa developed his philosophy and vision for expressing beauty through art. As a tribute to this inspiration, the plaque on both donated sculptures reads: "Gift to my alma mater for pointing me in the direction of beauty and truth."

"Our goals are the same as those of Victor," said Jim McClelland, Union professor and one of Issa's greatest influences. "He hopes the sculptures will inspire young artists to see the potential of what they can achieve in their field and that his achievements will be passed on to them. I think it's very important for our students to see success, not only in terms of worldly acclaim, but in using their gifts to glorify and give back to God."

Issa received his formal sculpture training at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. He makes his home in Loveland, Colo., where he works as a full time sculptor. He co-founded the Loveland Sculpture Invitational Show and Sale, the largest sculpture show in the United States. Issa's work, which is collected worldwide, has become known for its realism, emotion and detail. To learn more, visit his Web site at