Sculptor Opens Foundry in River Valley

December 7th, 2016 by Nathan George

Patrick McGrath of Oxbow FoundryAccomplished sculptor – and now entrepreneur – Patrick McGrath brings a unique skill set to the Arkansas River Valley.

A Vietnam War veteran who studied art at Southern Connecticut State University, McGrath began his career in New York City. He then moved to Los Angeles to sculpt for major studios.

His artistic talents can be seen on the sets of movies such as Hancock, Titanic, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Transformers. Working for Walt Disney Imagineering as a contract sculptor, McGrath also assisted on Disneyland’s Finding Nemo ride and Tangled exhibit.

His Lightness of Being sculpture (shown below) is on permanent display in West Hollywood.

McGrath moved to Johnson County, Arkansas, in 2014 with plans to open his own foundry. He came to the Arkansas Small Business and Technology Development Center at Arkansas Tech University for help getting financing for his new business.

In addition to one-on-one counseling, he worked with students from Tech’s Money & Banking course. As part of their class work, the students did research on area financial institutions to help with McGrath’s loan process.

“I would not be at this point without the students’ help. I was spinning my wheels,” said McGrath. “The students did my legwork for me by visiting the lending institutions and talking to loan officers, which helped me find the right option. I was overjoyed at the services offered by the ATU ASBTDC.”

Lightness of Being sculpture by Patrick McGrathAfter receiving the students’ report about different financing options, McGrath visited the local lenders. He continued to work with Centennial Bank, where he obtained a loan for $108,000.  He opened Oxbow Forge and Foundry LLC in Knoxville on Oct. 1.

Oxbow’s focus is on creating commissioned work for municipalities and other markets and on casting sculptures for other artists. McGrath also plans to pass on his craft by offering classes in art, sculpture, welding, and other artistic methods.


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