Born in 1939, James Hunolt grew up in Berkeley, where his family was engaged in the textbook business. Surrounded by scholars and students, he was swept up by the endless inquiries about life swirling in a university community. When brought to the threshold of death by a life threatening illness at the age of 16, his consciousness was indelibly altered. His essential life focus became centred on searching for the essence of Mankind's place and purpose. Berkeley's melting pot of ideas, theories and spiritual paths offered a vibrant matrix of possibilities to explore and digest.
In 1964, after completing his studies at the University of California, Jim departed on a summer's journey to find a place to think, dream and write. As chance and circumstances work in incomprehensible ways, his expedition reached its goal on his very first day. He stopped at a small inn for coffee in Big Sur on California's coast and was overwhelmed by its beauty and sense of innate wildness. He realized it was perfect for his purposes. So began a 25-year engagement with a breathtaking environment.
As he settled into a cabin and began writing, he amplified his days with a night course in pottery and discovered that his hands could mould clay. Within a year, he became captivated by the expansiveness of three-dimensional forms. In his vision, ideas, emotions, philosophy and spiritual concepts could be joined with form to elicit aspects of beauty in an expanding search for the spirit of Mankind. He now had a negotiable medium: sculpture.
Jim met master sculptor Gordon Newell and spent two years sharing a studio with him on Cannery Row. During this period, he helped Gordon carve the two granite fountains at the entrance to the Ellipse Circle that adjoins the White House, the Haupt Fountains.
Throughout periods of living on the coast, the high desert and in the Sierras, he has continued to create a continuous stream of works in stone, wood, bronze and steel.
He deals with one subject: Mankind - alone and together, Warriors and Lovers. As he notes in his Occasional Journals, "Warriors (i.e., individuals under stress: mental, physical or spiritual), and Lovers (two individuals together in a sensually shared consciousness) have one main thing in common... intensity. Possibly it is the intensity I am most interested in. And that I can discover a great abundance of intensity in Warriors and Lovers, which draws me to them."
Amidst the discrepancies of the world we live in, Jim Hunolt daily asserts his faith in the future of Mankind by transforming the visions of his mind into enduring sculptures celebrating the Human Spirit.
Source: "Jim Hunolt: Sculpture" by Jim Hunolt and Gary Koeppel, Published by Coast Publishing, Carmel, CA, 2006