The Seeds of Inspiration

Canadian sculptor Timothy Paul Schmalz creates sculptures primarily in bronze.

For more than thirty years, Tim has been “visually translating” sacred scripture and bringing forth spiritual artwork that presents authentic representations.

After dropping out of art college at the age of 19, Schmalz lived in his small studio in Toronto.

“I had no heat in my first old studios, no washrooms, and just a simple board to sleep on. For years I lived like that. It was during this time that I stripped myself of all distractions and material concerns; I did art for art’s sake. And through an amazing journey, I realized that in order to have a great work of art, I needed epic subject matter.”

Tim believes that sculpture is just the skin that covers an idea, a belief, and a truth. As an artist, he is dedicated to making this skin as thin and transparent as possible so the art does not get in the way of what is being expressed.

Early Timothy Paul Schmalz

Tim in his Toronto
Studio, 1993

The Growth of Inspiration

Most of the work Tim creates comes from personal insight and inspiration. He believes that there are many subjects that have been sculpted that warrant new interpretations or closer examination which enhance the viewer’s understanding of the subject. With his conviction that artwork is the face of faith, Tim’s featured works illustrate that he continues to insist that his sculptures filter out the superficial and express the truth.

Timothy Paul Schmalz sculpting

“I believe that there are many blind spots in the history of artistic representation in our culture; a lot of subjects that should have been represented in art never have been. I feel devoted to giving form to these many important elements of our spiritual culture”

Tim often collaborates with religious, public and private individuals to create new and meaningful sculpture. Some of his greatest artistic works have been realized while working with a community that had a specific space or subject matter that required him to apply his artistic insight to a new area.

“Sometimes, being pulled off a comfortable or easy path produces majestic results. I believe there are many exciting future collaborations that will introduce me to new subjects and further develop my understanding of the possibility of sculpture”

Tim is convinced that every new collaboration comes at the right time – the time when his spiritual readiness as an artist intersects with the spiritual readiness of his partners. At this point, all that is needed is the connection and conversation.

Tim with Archbishop Bishop Fisichella and Dennis Salvoie in Rome 2006

Archbishop Bishop Fisichella, Dennis Salvoie and Tim
Rome, 2006

The Fruits of Inspiration

Over the past decades, Tim has created some powerful representations of Christianity and some landmark complex public bronze sculptures. Cast editions of his life-size bronze sculptures have been installed in major cities in front of some of the most historically significant Christian sites in the world, including Capernaum, the Vatican and Florence.

In recent years, he has worked directly with the Vatican to create more sculptures that highlight spiritual concerns in our modern day.

Tim’s Jesus The Homeless became somewhat ‘viral’ due to Tim’s certainty that bringing Jesus down off the cross and into a relatable human context would allow people to feel a greater closeness with and accessibility to Christ.

Homeless Jesus

Homeless Jesus, Santo Domingo Church,  Dominican Republic

Angels Unawares St. Peter’s Square, Rome  2019

The “Angels Unawares” bronze sculpture – the first sculpture to be installed in St. Peter’s Square in centuries – highlights the modern day migrant. As his inspiration for this piece, Tim used the Bible verse Hebrew 13:2: “Be welcoming to strangers for many have entertained angels unawares”.

This epic 20 foot sculpture shows a crowd of migrants upon a boat headed toward new horizons, and in the center there is an angel, only identifiable by the wings that rise above the sculpture.

After the success of this installation, Tim was requested to create a new sculpture on the theme of human trafficking. Again creating the title from scripture, this new epic work called ‘Let The Oppressed Go Free” shows almost one hundred victims of human trafficking being freed by the former slave, St. Bakhita.

Let the Oppressed Go Free

Let The Oppressed Go Free, 2020

Monument to Elbert Hubbard,
East Aurora, New York

Although Schmalz is a self-described Christian artist, he has created large, secular bronze sculptures for various cities.

“Not only do I enjoy doing secular sculptures, I also feel it is a duty to my Christian sculpture to not create Christian artwork alone. By producing nonspiritual artwork, it is more difficult for viewers to dismiss my spiritual work.”

When creating public sculpture, Tim is concerned with representing the subject matter in a way that teaches about the subject.  A great example of this ideology is the Canadian Veteran Memorial where he sculpted 150 figures to represent veterans from all the wars Canada fought in.

Tim recognizes that in order to capture his viewer’s attention, it is not enough to install a static monument as it will quickly become invisible. As such, he works hard to find the essence of the story or message. It is also common that Tim’s pieces will somehow include or surprise the viewer, encouraging them to engage with the pieces and their subject matter.

This unique and dogged focus is what continuously sets Tim apart as an artist. As one viewer said so eloquently,

“It is as though Tim’s art  has a heartbeat – it lives and breathes”.

Timothy Paul Schmalz continues to work on various religious and secular sculptures and private commissions. He has also commenced a new series of relief sculptures narrating the complete Bible, a work that he acknowledges he will never finish.

Canadian Veteran Memorial
Waterloo, Ontario