ABERDEEN, S.D. - Ben Victor, NSU artist in residence since 2004, has accepted a position as artist in residence at Boise State University in Boise, Idaho. He will start his new position Aug. 1.
Victor came to NSU as a student in 2001 and received his bachelor’s degree in fine arts in 2004. He learned sculpture here, and shortly after graduating at 23, he received his first large commission - to sculpt a trio of soldiers for the Aberdeen Regional Airport War Memorial in South Dakota.
At age 26, he received a commission from the state of Nevada to make a sculpture of Sarah Winnemucca, a 19th-century Paiute activist. When that statue was installed in National Statuary Hall in the United States Capitol, Victor became the youngest sculptor to have a work in the hall. Nine years later, with the dedication of a statue of Norman Borlaug, he became the only living artist to have two works in the hall.
Victor has won numerous awards recognizing his sculpting talent. In 2003, he was recognized as one of the best young sculptors in America by the National Sculpture Society in New York. The Arts Council of Kern recognized Victor as Artist of the 2000-2010 Decade for his creation of a bronze monument to the oil worker in Taft, California. In 2013, he was inducted into the Bakersfield Hall of Fame in Bakersfield, Calif., for outstanding service to the community, and has been featured on ESPN, C-SPAN and many public broadcasting stations around the United States.
Several of Victor’s statues adorn the Aberdeen community. On June 14, he installed his most recent work, a statue of the late World War II Navy hero and NSU alumnus Capt. Cecil Harris on the campus of NSU.
“Ben will certainly be missed, but this has been such a vibrant relationship that we expect it to endure in a new form for a very long time as he takes this new position,” said NSU President James Smith. “Ben’s gallery and studio space will remain here and we look forward to seeing him back here a couple of times a year. We wish him the very best on this new venture and are grateful for all that he has done for Northern and the Aberdeen community.”