PS I Love You,Winemaker

Louis J. Foppiano Immortalized in Bronze

It was a quiet fall day. I rushed to the winery, because the bronze bust created by Ed Voelkel (pronounced “vocal”) of Louis J. Foppiano was about to be unveiled.

The day before, the Robert Mondavi bust was also unveiled. Having worked at Mondavi, I could envision the moment with lots of pomp and circumstance. As with all things Foppiano, however, their unveiling was going to be a quiet, singular event, only enjoyed by anyone who happened upon their tasting room at that exact moment.

[Above image, Left to Right: Susan Foppiano-Valera, Louis M. Foppiano, Gianna Foppiano, behind the bust is Ed Voelkel, Louis M. Foppiano, and Paul Foppiano.]

As the family gathered, I realized what a delightfully humble family had come together to unveil the bust of Louis J. Foppiano, created by Ed Voelkel of Voelkel Designs Studio in Healdsburg, California.

Ed’s journey as an artist first began as a tight end/punter for the Los Angeles Rams. From this position, he segued into the film industry as a “bad guy.” Being raised by parents who were both artists, however, had Ed eventually finding his true calling in a much more true-to-his-core way. Today, Ed’s working as a larger than life artist on a series of  bronze busts, which includes some of the men and women who pioneered the California wine industry. He began his work on three such pioneers: Franco Teldeschi (F. Teldeschi Winery), David Stare (Dry Creek Vineyards), as well as Lou Foppiano.

According to Ed, “I work in the classical style of the old masters, always seeking to capture the likeness and personality of my subject. The object of art is to crystallize emotion into thought and subsequently into form. True artistry is a marriage of volume, shape, line, space, texture, and movement. Sculpture should always express reality. Artistic talent is a gift from God. It’s the artist’s responsibility to use his talent to incorporate the subject’s sensitivity, emotion, and personality into a lasting work of art.”

Now, it was the quiet moment of the unveiling, and Lou’s great granddaughter was asked, “Look Gianna, who’s that?” To which she replied, “Nono!”

In the form and structure of a solid bronze bust, Lou’s great grand daughter, at only three years old, recognized her beloved Nono. At that exact moment, we all knew that Ed had created a wonderful living memory for the world of wine and a tribute to all that Louis J. Foppiano had created for the coming generations.

One Response to “Louis J. Foppiano Immortalized in Bronze”

  1. Shepcab says:

    The work is OK. It relies heavily of drawn 2D understanding rather than a full appreciation of anatomy or 3D perception. it is important to study more closely where forms meet each other and look for the planes of the head to help with structure. getting a likeness is the first stage. The second stage is bringing the work alive. it is not yet beyond theh first stage.
    I trust this feedback is useful, rather than critical.
    All best

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