The Volunteer Calls
Title: The Volunteer Calls
Creator: Henry DiSpirito
Medium: cast stone
Dimensions: 96 inches (height with base) x 36 inches (width) x 36 inches (depth), approximately
Description: Larger-than-life, standing tall and strong, a volunteer fireman calls out to his fellow firefighters. Standing in front of the Deerfield Fire Department, this work honors volunteer firefighters everywhere. Utica sculptor Henry Dispirito worked on this piece through the summer of 1970. As Artist-in-Residence at Utica College, he frequently asked students and faculty to model for him. This allowed him both to exercise and to demonstrate his approaches to capturing the humanity of his subjects. For The Volunteer Calls, however, he worked at his home studio. He asked his next-door neighbor, Bob Coletti, and his nephew, Ben Farda, to model for the sculpture, capturing their height and strength. The fireman's form relates the urgency of his step forward as he calls out, an expression of anguish on his face. While DiSpirito usually carved directly in stone, his vision for the scale of this piece exceeded the stone he had available. Instead, he created a full-scale clay model, working on a ladder in his backyard. Then he made plaster casts in sections and poured cement. The sections were combined, and this medium of cast cement allowed DiSpirito to carve directly to unite and refine the final sculpture. It was unveiled to the Town of Deerfield in the fall of 1970.
Inscription: "The Volunteer Calls This statue was erected to commemorate the men of Deerfield, past, present, and future, who have served and will serve their community as volunteer firemen. This sculpture, depicting the volunteer calling to his brother firemen, was created by Henry Dispirito and dedicated in 1970 on the twenty-first anniversary of the founding of the Deerfield Fire Company." on a plaque on the front of the stone base
Subject: Public Art, Outdoor sculpture, Fire fighters, DiSpirito, Henry, 1898-1995
Rights: This work is in the public domain because it was published in the United States between 1923 and 1977 and without a copyright notice.
Find out more:
Hopkins-Benton, Ashley. Breathing Life into Stone: The Sculpture of Henry DiSpirito. 1st ed. Cooperstown, N.Y: Fenimore Art Museum, 2013. Print. p 82-85.
Location: Deerfield Volunteer Fire Co. Inc., 5476 Trenton Road, Deerfield