Canadian Heritage

Historical Vignettes

The Sculptors: Three-dimensional Masterminds

This sculpture caught P.C. Laporte's attention, and he booked the teen prodigy in a taxidermy and wood carving courses, where Claude Roussel quickly learns that "art is more than reproducing the works of others" and dreams of attending l'École des Beaux Arts. He obtains his high school diploma at the age of 16 and then works at the Fraser mill for three years, saving money to attend l'École des Beaux Arts in Montreal. Artistically, he no longer does reproduction but turns to creation; thus, he defines his own concepts, which make up the uniqueness of his artwork. "People admired my work but I wanted to surpass myself (...) The forest not only provided me with material but unconsciously, with inspiration above all else."10 Most of his artwork comes from this primary inspiration, notably a mural showing at Fredericton's Centennial Building, paintings and sketches representing loggers, trees, logs, a view of the Green River region and even the spruce.

He pursues his dream and enters l'École des Beaux Arts in 1950 to obtain his sculpting and teaching diplomas in 1956. While studying, he returns to Edmundston every summer to find work. He even convinces Monseigneur Pichette of letting him create statues as well as the Stations of the Cross in l'Église Notre Dame des Sept Douleurs, in collaboration with Claude Picard. (see historical vignette # 6)11