Just wanted to drop you a note of "thanks" for
the outstanding sculpture that you created for the Elvis Presley Memorial
Foundation. Your sculpture of "Elvis at 13" clearly symbolizes the humbleness
and innocence of Elvis in his youth. This was exactly the objective
of the Foundation in contracting with you to do this life size bronze
statue. You clearly captured the humbleness and innocence that was his
essence during his formative years in Tupelo. The high cheek bone features,
the nose, the puffy eyes, the ridged hair, all encompassed in the open
collared shirt and oversized coveralls clearly showed Elvis's meager
background. The Elvis fans that have visited the statue have all been
very impressed with its authenticity. It has become one of the top photo
ops on the grounds. Just thought you would like to know the positive
responses we have received from everyone that has seen your work. You
are to be congratulated on your superb sculpting talents.
Sincerely, Henry C. Dodge, Jr. Chairman
Elvis Presley Memorial Foundation
"Michiel works very closely with his clients to capture the
exact essence of the subject for which he is commissioned. His ability
to create the human spirit from a few photographs is truly amazing.
He has definitely earned his reputation as a premier sculptor on a global
scale. Michiel cares about his work as well as the people with whom
he is working. His skill, patience and kind nature make working with
Michiel a very pleasurable and comforting experience".
Lisa Simpson Koury (commissioned
Michiel to create the posthumous sculpture of her father, Joe Koury)
"Michiel has an amazing knack
of capturing character, particularly of children. I am mesmerized by
how he captured Will's character in an
almost magical way. Every detail - from the tilt of his head to the
position of his feet - express accurate observation about the boy. I
think he has a wonderful way about him - a charm and interest. He is
not doing it for the business. "
Katherine R. McCurdy (was interviewed for an article
about Michiel Van der Sommen by The Business Journal)
received the most beautiful gift I
have been given. Words cannot begin to express how much I love and appreciate
your work. The beauty and quality of this sculpture is breathtaking.
During the holidays we had many friends and family visit and they just
stood in awe as they viewed it. It is not only beautiful but represents
much hard work and commitment both by the sculptor and the dancer. Each
time I glance at it I think of both. You captured her every feature
so perfectly. It is truly a very exciting piece of work. It will always
"Michiel Van der Sommen's
sculpture of our daughter Anna has meant more to us than any
photograph or painting we have of her. His technical skills are
flawless and greatly to be admired, but more than that, he was
able to capture the whimsical nature of our seventeen year old.
We will cherish his sculpture forever."
"The shape, grace
and elegance of the figure are just what I had envisioned. You
are a master at capturing the beauty of motion."
Jolie Long, Dance Instructor
"I become more delighted with the outcome of the sculpture!
I have it at my office, and when I have had a frustrating day,
I just look at it. It then just gives me a natural high. We are
"The culture of the
school is enhanced by the magnificent sculpture in the library
and on the grounds ("Girl Reading", bottom right),
in the rector's home and in the art studio. The sculptor, Michiel
Van der Sommen, is a Chatham Hall treasure. "
John H. Tucker