monumental works of David Breeden stand before courthouses in Roanoke
and Charlottesville, Virginia and at Universities such as Penn State
at York and the University of Virginia. They adorn cityscapes in
Pittsburgh, Charlottesville, Negril, (Jamaica) and St. John's (Antigua.)
They are comprised of soapstone, dalle de verre glass and fiberglass
"Family" sits on Court Square in Charlottesville a full six and
a half feet tall, a graceful rendering in glistening Alberene stone.
Two half-moon shapes curve around to meet each other cradling between
themselves a third shape, a child.
"It represents the importance of the family unit," says sculptor
David Breeden, who worked on a design for the Court Square sculpture
for over a year. "I had the freedom to create a symbol of the family.
We chose stone, rather than any other medium, because it symbolizes
the solidity of the family." As he speaks, the sounds of his children
can be heard throughout the house.
five of them show a love and enjoyment of various mediums and his
son, Christian, having joined the family sculpture business, sculpts
the soapstone they both love, in the studio adjacent to the house.
Sitting next to him at the kitchen table is his wife Elizabeth,
deep-set eyes thinking and laughing along with him. She is very
much a part of David's work and art. We sit around a kitchen table
in a house full of art and life and love. Creations crowd into every
corner. The walls are punctuated with snapshot collages, assembled
and framed by Elizabeth with her stained-glass artisan's eye. These
collages tell so many stories: smiling faces in family line-ups,
Halloween costumes, births, birthdays, special moments, everyday.
Here and there, you recognize a Breeden piece. Those polished black,
sultry smooth sculptures weave in among other objects on windowsills
and shelves in the kitchen: seashells and sea horses, homemade ashtrays,
ceramic curiosities, nature experiments, ripening tomatoes, wildflower
bouquets. A lot of people venture through to visit Biscuit Run.
A lot of life goes on there. Every room vibrates with art. In the
living room you recognize more Breedens: a handwritten reverie,
composed by Christian when he was three; a quiet portrait of Elizabeth;
an oil rendering of David, faraway and still; a beatific clay bust
Breedens live a life surrounded by art and artists, yet without
pretensions or exclusivity. Ask David how he's feeling, and most
likely he answers, "I feel so good," in a tone of voice that affirms
the sense one gets from the Breeden household: that life is full
of love, that life feels good.