POUND RIDGE, N.Y. -- It's been almost 20 years to the date that Miles Slater, a Pound Ridge resident, created his first serious sculpture.
And oh, what a sculpture it was. After watching the news on the Oklahama City bombings, he created a piece based on what he saw. His sculpture, "Rescue," depicting a fireman carrying a child, ended up being selected by the state and now resides in the Memorial Museum in Oklahamo's capital.
Having the piece embraced in 1995, according to Slater, was the equivalent of winning a Pulitzer Prize the first time out of the gate. It also cemented his new career as a sculptor.
Slater had been a Salomon Brothers executive who was president and CEO of the company's global international businesses during the mid-1980s. And while he can't say for sure what led him to sculpting, he credits his kids and the stress of his Wall Street job for helping him change his focus. "It was the right timing," he said of his retirement and new career direction.
So was a sculpting class where a peer mentioned the small town of Pietrasanta, Italy, where master sculptors and artists have been sculpting for centuries. Slater went -- in fact he ended up buying an olive farm in later years -- and now divides his time between there and Pound Ridge.
That's where, in fact, he sculpted the Oklahama City piece and draws the most inspiration. "It's amazing to work in a studio that is over 400 years old," he said.
And now the longtime Westchester resident, known more for donating his work rather than selling it, held his first private reception this past weekend to benefit Northern Westchester Hospital, a place, he said, that saved his life.
On display at the showing: more than 30 works ranging from small bronze and marble figurative works to large stone, marble abstract and abstract-representational pieces.
Slater said he doesn't have a specific style but does what he feels; most are inspired by the human form. On average, his pieces range from 9 inches tall in stone and in bronze to marble pieces that weigh 3-4 tons.
For those who weren't invited to the private showing, no worries. Slater's sculptures can be seen at many Westchester sites, including the Boys and Girls Club in Mount Kisco, The Harvery School in Katonah, Our Lady of St. Mary the Virgin in Chappaqua and Temple Beth Torah in Mount Kisco.