What piece of art changed your life? How did it affect you?
My earliest memory of a piece of art that caught my attention and made an impact on me was a sculpture my mother Karen Mendez was working on, when I was about five or six years old. The sculpture happened to be of me and, to my knowledge, was the first and only attempt my mother made at sculpture. It was the first time I saw someone work with clay and create a figure.
The affect on me was that I saw anything was possible and that it was a form of expression that made me curious. Those pieces of clay that she was using became something that I began to play with—making characters and sculptural forms. My memory was that I had a natural aptitude and affinity for the medium. It was a means of expression that had a vocabulary I wanted to know more about. That experience got filed away, and—when I got the chance to take lessons years later, when I was 14 or 15—I picked up clay again and started to make figures.
Frederick-based artist Toby Mendez created the six bronze sculptures depicting Orioles hall-of-famers Frank Robinson (above), Brooks Robinson, Earl Weaver, Jim Palmer, Eddie Murray, and Cal Ripken. The Weaver sculpture will be unveiled at Camden Yards before tomorrow afteroon's game against the Clevelend Indians.