Published: March 1, 2017 By


Artist or Scientist? Both

You’d know it as marble, but Bob Sievers sometimes refers to his preferred raw material by another name: calcium carbonate. That happens when the sculptor is also a research chemist.

“My science has informed my art, and my art has informed my science, ” said Sievers, a CU chemistry professor who took up sculpting in the 1980s as a diversion from academic and entrepreneurial life. (He’s also formed two biotechnology firms and served as a CU regent.)

In 1990 Sievers purchased 35,000 pounds of marble from Missouri and shipped it to Boulder on an 18-wheeler. He’s been chipping away at it ever since. In all, he’s produced 55 sculptures.

“I could do more if I did smaller things,” he said. “But I like to do life-size pieces.”

Besides human forms — a ballerina’s leg, say, or a nun — he favors natural phenomena as subjects: Owls, flowers, dolphins, buffalo, salt crystals seen under a scanning electron microscope.

Sievers has sold or donated many works, some decidedly abstract, some in alabaster, acrylic glass or bronze. All four CU campuses have at least one. Several are on display at CU Boulder, including his favorite, “Calla Lily,” pictured above. 

Photos by Glenn Asakawa