Big Night for Big Cats

On the evening of October 29 at the Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, more than 40 guests gathered for a night of fine-art sculpture and exquisite dining in support of National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative. Hosted by National Geographic, Ritz-Carlton, and Pure Sculpture, the event provided guests with a unique opportunity to learn about our mission to help stop the decline of big cats through the medium of sculpture.

The event began with an hour of delectable spirits and hors d’oeuvres; each guest was warmly greeted by Pure Sculpture founders Christy Coltrin, Bill Jesse, and Brad Oldham. A catalyst for many exciting conversations, Oldham’s latest sculpture in support of the Big Cats Initiative, Together, was on display throughout the room. From the first glimpse of the desktop and tabletop edition prototypes in wax and clay, Together delighted attendees. In addition to the sculptures, guests were privy to a special peek behind the Pure Sculpture curtain, as videos of the sculpture-making process played on a large screen. Guests also had the opportunity to view the Lion Series book and accessories.

By 7:30 p.m. the adjoining dining room doors opened, revealing the breathtaking halflife size Together sculpture. The gorgeous dining room seemed aglow with a spectacular bronze light from the desktop editions of Together that served as centerpieces on each table. Once guests were seated, Ritz-Carlton, Dallas, General Manager Roberto van Geenen and Victoria Gottlieb, from their corporate office, welcomed everyone to the event. After an introduction by Pure Sculpture’s Chairman and CEO Bill Jesse, Alex Moen, Vice President of Explorer Programs for National Geographic, spoke to the group about the mission of the Big Cats Initiative and the significance of this cause. The presentations concluded with Oldham, who spoke about his inspiration for the Lion Series and his passion for saving big cats.

By the end of dinner, the room was filled with people committed to this important cause. Many guests were previously unaware of how endangered big cats have become and were intrigued to learn of the many ways they can help stop this decline. You can become a part of this mission too. Visit to learn how you can help save big cats from extinction. 

(left to right): Brad Oldham, Alex Moen, Victoria Gottlieb, and Roberto van Geenen

Brad Oldham, sculptor and co-founder of Pure Sculpture

(left to right): Pure Sculpture’s Brad Oldham with Liz Levy and Alex Moen from the National Geographic Society

Pure Sculpture artist Jessica Jesse admires the Together half life size clay model.

The Ritz-Carlton staff passed around delicious appetizers during the cocktail hour.

Ritz-Carlton chef Todd Sabo created an outstanding menu for the event, complete with wine pairings for each course.

Each of the four courses was served by attentive Ritz-Carlton personnel.

A petite 4.5” high and 8.375” wide, the Together desktop edition makes a perfect gift.

As the double doors to the dining room opened, guests got a first look at the bronze half life size edition of Together.

The magnificent half life size Together sculpture was the guest of honor the dinner.

Bill Jesse, CEO of Pure Sculpture, welcomed guests.

National Geographic’s Alex Moen kept guests engaged and interested as he detailed the Society’s work to save big cats. Guests were especially interested in the tremendous impact of building fences for livestock. 

Alex Moen and Brad Oldham had many individual conversations with guests during the course of the evening. Guest left the evening knowing more about the Big Cats Initiative and about Alex and Brad personally.

 All images by James Edward

The 8th Anniversary Gift Guide: Bronze

Year after year, millions of couples around the world celebrate a wedding anniversary. Unlike birthdays or Valentine’s Day, a wedding anniversary gift has to be memorable and distinctive; sometimes a bouquet of flowers is simply not enough. Thanks to a tradition that dates back to the Middle Ages, we have a helpful guideline to help us choose that exceptional gift that commemorates each year of marriage. The first year is paper, the second year cotton, five years wood and the eighth is bronze. Some years the gift choice maybe easy, but others can leave us clueless. No need to resort to the ho-hum bouquet, we’ve found many striking gifts to celebrate your 8th wedding anniversary.

One of the oldest and most durable materials in the world, bronze represents strength and fortitude to many people. A peek into the history of cultures around the world reveals the Bronze Age as a significant period of development and often the start of its urban civilization. Used for advances in technology and trade networks, bronze has always been a valuable and trusted material.

Today, bronze is commonly used in the creation of home d├ęcor objects, jewelry and fine art sculpture. For the 8th Wedding Anniversary Gift Guide, Pure Sculpture is thinking outside the box and has scouted the web in search of the most beautiful and thoughtful bronze gifts on the market. Get ready to wow your spouse without breaking the bank!

Shop these items:
  1. Bronze Bakota Ridge Cuff (2.5 in) by Julie Cohn
  2. Vipassana – Antiqued Bronze from the Effloresco Collection  by Jessica Jesse for Pure Sculpture
  3. Corso Vase with hand-painted metallic bronze finish by Kelly Wearstler
  4. Together – DesktopBronze Sculpture with Mahogany Base from Lion Series by Brad Oldham for Pure Sculpture
  5. Shaba Bangle Set, Dark horn with inlaid bronze studs (Handcrafted in Kenya) by Ashley Pittman
  6. Decorative Lotus Dish in Solid Bronze by Kelly Wearstler
  7. John and Abigail - Antiqued Bronze Sculpture from the Owl Series by Brad Oldham for Pure Sculpture
  8. Stool/Side Table – Hand-Forged Bronze with Japanese Patina by Working Hands Factory

The Big Reveal

Together Life Size by Brad Oldham
Photograph by Mark Thiessen
There are perks that come with the job of a sculptor: the exciting and rewarding process of taking an idea from concept to execution of a three-dimensional work, creating art that will last for generations… the list goes on. Each work is unique, and the journey is rewarding, but the moment the work is unveiled and shared with an audience tends to be the most thrilling part of the process.

Photograph by Mark Thiessen

“Seeing people interact with one of my sculptures is a great feeling. Watching someone connect with a piece to make their own memory is a large part of why I make sculpture,” says Brad Oldham.

Beverly Joubert
Photograph by Mark Thiessen

Dereck Joubert
Photograph by Mark Thiessen

Photograph by Mark Thiessen

Oldham’s joy was apparent when he unveiled Together, inspired by the work of National Geographic Explorers-in-Residence Beverly and Dereck Joubert, founders of the Big Cats Initiative. National Geographic’s Explorer Programs’ Vice President Alexander Moen led the dedication and unveiling ceremony, noting that Together marks the beginning of a partnership between National Geographic Licensing and Pure Sculpture to raise awareness and funds for National Geographic programs through the medium of fine art.

(left to right): Dereck Joubert, Beverly Joubert, Brad Oldham, and Alexander Moen
Photograph by Mark Thiessen

Dereck and Beverly Joubert holding Together Desktop, a gift from Brad Oldham. (far right) Photograph by Mark Thiessen

The day not only marked the launch of this partnership, but also Pure Sculpture’s partnership with the Big Cats Initiative. The event also celebrated the collaborative efforts that created Together, with everyone’s sights set on halting the decline of big cats.

Together provides an opportunity for everyone to help save big cats. Available in four editions, including desktop and tabletop sizes, proceeds from the purchase of each sculpture support the Big Cats Initiative. The mission of this sculpture will be delivered into each home and office in which it resides.

Learn more about Pure Sculpture’s support of National Geographic’s Big Cats Initiative and join our mission today.

Photograph by Mark Thiessen