It is often said that life is a journey, not a destination. Evergreen sculpture artist, Harold Linke, is proof of this.
“I had no intention of doing art,” said Linke. “But what I’ve found is that every part of what I learned in life has come together in my art.”
Those lessons have resulted in nearly 1,000 of his sculptures in private and public collections around the world. His work is part of the Benson Sculpture Garden in Loveland; First Data Corporation commissioned a life-size memorial. He has earned top awards in Colorado, Texas, and Wyoming; and Vail’s La Tour Restaurant has exhibited and sold his work for the past fourteen years. The Swedish Dance Academy commissioned its Choreography award from Harold; and he provided technical design services for the Grand Junction (CO) Convention Center.
Educated in Civil and Environmental Engineering at Stanford University, as well as being a Registered Professional Engineer, Harold gleaned experience in the practical side of art. “I could understand three dimensions; not all can. Experience in doing surveying helped define essential curves,” he explained.
Guiding his hand out before him, Harold demonstrated how, like a road that has to travel over nature’s curves, his sculptures’ shapes have to travel with specific intent.
“People intuitively know form.” What Harold’s art presents is form in its most minimal state. “I work toward removal,” he explained. “Not abstract, but leaving only what is essential - remove the detail, texture, color, volume.” What is left is a satisfying image that allows the viewer of his work to apply their own journey to his sculpture.
What may surprise many about Harold is that he applies the same principles he uses in creating his sculptures into other parts of his life – one of the most important to him, the Boy Scouts.
A dedicated Scout himself, Harold started out as a young boy and continued his journey by volunteering as a leader. He understands that keeping things simple, by working to remove non-essential factors - great things can happen. At the mention of several Eagle Scouts from our community, Harold asked, “Were the Boy Scouts responsible for the success of them? We’ll never know for certain, but they learned leadership. Most adults want to micro-manage. How can you lead a company or civic group if you’ve never been allowed to lead? We work with the boys and allow them to make mistakes, to correct them and to carry on.” They follow simple, basic principles of Boy Scout guidance. “If you follow rules, life works,” Harold added with a smile.
Harold is also known throughout the community as an outstanding tutor. “I tell my students to start at the end,” he smiles and continues. “Look to the end of the chapter to find what it is that they need to set out to learn. Then, as they study the concepts, they will be able to focus on what the goal is. It’s like life, how are you supposed to know what to learn if you don’t have a goal in mind.” Simple principles.
Sitting over a cup of coffee with Harold easily extends into an interesting, full morning that you hope won’t come to an end. But what was clearest of all is that his most important principle in his life is his family. He brags on his son and daughter, and don’t even get him started on his grandchildren (one with whom he shares Friday breakfast each week). But above all, it is love, friendship and admiration for his wife, Deborah, that outshines everything in his life. “In our family, Deb’s the hot prospect.”
Harold, it can be suspected, has figured out the secret to life – keep it simple, remove any unnecessary factors, and discover in the end that life can be “Linked” to happiness. Harold finished his coffee and closed the interview with, “If I can figure it out, I will.” Seems he has in every aspect of his life.