Bishop’s Stock is home to the largest collection of Maurice Spector’s impressive artwork
Tucked away on a former dairy farm in a tiny town on Virginia’s Eastern Shore, artist Maurice Spector has been creating larger-than-life works for years. His fascinating and thought-provoking sculptures are currently on display at Bishop’s Stock in Snow Hill.
“He is very creative and a really neat guy,” said Ann Coates, owner of Bishop’s Stock, whose gallery exhibits the highest concentration of Maurice’s work. I truly do not know where he comes up with some of his ideas.”
“I was born in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, on a dairy farm where both the landscape and the creatures who roamed the fields and pastures made an indelible impression on my work,” Spector said. “From felled trees and natural stone, I make sculptures in an open-faced barn. When the wind kicks up across the creek in the fall, I work indoors at the studio drawing table, planning new three-dimensional pieces and producing drawings in pen and ink, conté crayon and gouache.”
After studying drawing at the University of Miami with renowned artist and educator Eugene Massin and a stint in the U.S. Army during the Vietnam conflict, Spector worked as a photographer, prop master and on various building projects — jobs he said were all ways of satisfying the need to work with his hands.
“With the sculpture and constructions (wood carvings), I have to live with the wood or stone for a while before I approach it, and I usually do quite a few preliminary drawings of these pieces before I actually begin to work,” Spector said. “Many times, people will bring me a tree which has fallen during a storm. It will have a definite personality, and it will either speak to me or it won’t interest me much at all. Color has some importance, but it is the exploration of texture and shape that is the prime motivation of everything I do.”
“His carvings are very fluid pieces and his mixed media works are kind of whimsical,” Ann said. “They are representational, but very contemporary. He is extremely talented.”
Pungoteague, just south of Melfa on the Peninsula’s western side, is where Maurice calls home, and he invites admirers of his work to visit his farm/studio where he normally has several works under construction and finished pieces on display. Call in advance for an appointment and directions. Bishop’s Stock is open Thursday-Sunday from 12-5 p.m., and by appointment only Monday-Wednesday.