Fayetteville sculptor Hank Kaminsky has died. He was 83.
Kaminsky, who is best known locally for his large-scale work World Peace Prayer Fountain, located next to the Fayetteville Town Center on the square, passed away at his home on Monday, March 13, according to a social media post by his wife Jo Ann.
Born in Brooklyn, New York, Kaminsky moved to Arkansas in 1971 to live and work in Eureka Springs, before moving to Fayetteville in the early 1980s.
He was a working sculptor from the age of 19, and created portraits, abstract sculptures, plaques, medals, as well as jewelry, belt buckles, pendants and more. His large-scale public art installations reside at locations around the region and state, as well as in Washington state, Pennsylvania, and California.
His signature World Peace Prayer Fountain piece is a 10-foot diameter bronze sphere hand-sculpted with the words “May Peace Prevail on Earth” in more than 100 languages in relief on the surface. The work was commissioned by Ed and Carlee Bradberry, and completed in 2002, and still resides next to the entrance of the Fayetteville Town Center on the downtown square.
In addition to his own work, Kaminsky was a teacher and mentor to countless students and apprentices over the years.
The majority of his work focuses on universal themes, such as finding world peace and discovering the secrets of life, the Arkansas Arts Council wrote when he was selected as an Arkansas Living Treasure in 2018. He begins most of his sculptures in clay and casts in numerous metals, including zinc, bronze, brass and aluminum.
“The most interesting technique I have used is sand casting, one of the most ancient crafts in the world,” Kaminsky told the Arts Council. “I sculpt because I want to discover form. My method yields a product, but I’m often surprised at what comes out.”
A celebration of Kaminsky’s life is set for 2-5 p.m. on Saturday, March 18 at Bailey Hall on Mount Sequoyah.