Chester Fields (American, b. 1945), "Building for the Future", c. 1989, Artist Proof 4/10, bronze eagle sculpture with silver overlay, gold accents and black sapphire eyes, 54" without base
Beginning in the mid-1980s to sculpt eagles because he feared they would become extinct, Chester Fields initially used a large amount of his own money to pay for his first sculpture. Called Splashdown, it was a four-feet high bald eagle swooping down to catch a rainbow trout. In 1985, this sculpture won the Best of Show at the C.M. Russell Auction in Great Falls, Montana. One of the series is in Maui, Hawaii at the Whalers' Village, and another is the focus of the Anheuser-Busch Company new nine-story building in St. Louis. Fields was born in Dallas, Oregon, and moved at age 8 with his family to British Columbia, Canada. He earned a degree in graphic design at a college in Spokane, Washington, and then served in the U.S. Army in Germany, where he visited numerous museums and became especially enamored with sculpture. Returning to the Northwest, he was a commercial artist and then turned full time to his own art, establishing his studio in Veradale, Washington. After 20 years, he turned to sculpture and focuses on every detail. He uses a mixture of metals including gold, stainless steel, silver, and bronze. On the beaks and claws, he uses gold or silver plating, which has to be applied to a flawless surface.