Tim Parks and Arnold Schwarzenegger at TW Bronze in Enterprise, Oregon.
By Katy Nesbitt
For Wallowa Valley Online
ENTERPRISE, Ore – Wallowa County’s lakes, rivers, mountains, and canyons have drawn tourists to the remote northeastern corner of Oregon since the late 1800s, but over the last few decades local artisans have attracted their own notoriety with the “rich and famous”.
About seven years ago Tim Parks of TW Bronze said he was asked to cast a slightly larger-than-life bronze statue of Arnold Schwarzenegger in a classic bodybuilding pose designed by Lewiston sculptor Ralph Crawford.
The first bronze Parks cast was shipped to Thal, Austria and installed outside of Schwarzenegger’s childhood home, which is now a museum. The second eight-foot statue, from the same mold, was installed in 2012 at the Veterans Memorial Auditorium in Columbus, Ohio where Schwarzenegger won the Mr. Olympia Title in 1970. The auditorium was bulldozed in 2014 and the statue relocated outside of the Columbus Convention Center where the annual Arnold Sports Festival is held each winter, a multi-sport event with professional bodybuilding, strongman, fitness, figure and bikini competitions.
Parks cast a third copy of the sculpture for the famous bodybuilder’s home in Los Angeles. For seven years Parks waited for Schwarzenegger to decide on the patina finish.
“I couldn’t finish it without knowing exactly what he wanted,” Parks said.
While Parks was waiting for the final word on how to finish the third statute, he took advantage of the downtime to paint it with primer, eliminating all shininess, so he could take a digital scan to get a 3D image of the sculpture in order to make the likeness in different sizes other than the 8-foot mold.
After all of these years, discussions recently resumed with Schwarzenegger, but as he was filming a movie in Bulgaria, the communication wasn’t clear. Parks said he couldn’t nail down exactly what Schwarzenegger meant by a “natural look”.
When negotiations over the phone didn’t prove satisfactory, Schwarzenegger decided the ultimate decision required a personal visit to the TW Bronze studio in Enterprise.
Parks said, “Schwarzenegger wanted to come up here so we could get on the same page.”
Along with a couple of companions, Schwarzenegger flew in a private jet to La Grande and hired a driver to bring the entourage to Enterprise where Parks lead a tour of his foundry and the two of them came up with a patina scheme.
Parks said, “He wanted some greens so it looks naturally aged.”
When finished, Parks said he will drive the statue to Los Angeles where it will be installed by Schwarzenegger’s swimming pool.
During Schwarzenegger’s short visit, Angelika Dietrich of Wallowa Valley Online was privileged to meet him and was permitted to take several photographs while he was at the TW Bronze foundry.
“He’s incredibly humble and kind, something I have always heard about him. To meet him was an extraordinary opportunity. But this visit wasn’t about me, of course. It was about Tim, who I could not be happier for. I not only consider Tim a close friend but an amazing artist who deserves every bit of recognition and publicity that we can get him”, Dietrich said.
TW Bronze is located at 202 Golf Course Rd. Enterprise, Oregon