JOPLIN — Four years ago, Larry Glaze lost his wife, Judy, to brain cancer.

JOPLIN — Four years ago, Larry Glaze lost his wife, Judy, to brain cancer.

On Monday morning at Liberty Bank on Rangeline in Joplin, Glaze, a Carthage artist, talked to members of the media about a piece of his artwork that will be auctioned off on Friday night during the third annual Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozark’s Pink Ribbon Gala at Downstream Casino Resort, four miles west of Joplin on I-44.

The gala – which is already sold out – will include dinner, silent and live auctions, music and dancing, will be raising money for the foundation.

“We (Judy and I) did a bucket list, we decided at that point I would do things for Hospice and breast cancer,” said Glaze. “This is my second year for doing things for breast cancer and 100 percent of my work - what it brings - goes to the foundation (BCFO). It is an honor to do it. These are one of a kind, they are fallow antlers, and I create the heads with my hands in clay. I fire the eyes, so that it represents flight, this is called ‘Our Freedom.’ It is mother and daughter.”

The sculpture – which is currently on display at the bank – is bronze, wood and antler sculpture of eagles. Glaze is known for portraying his Cherokee heritage in his art and specializes in “Antler Art of the Plains.”

Glaze said that the antlers that he uses are naturally shed.

“Everything is shed, nothing is shot to make the wings,” he said. “They (the antlers) drop every year and they grow new ones. I buy from shed hunters, they pick them up certain times of the year, all over the U.S. and the world. These are fallow antlers, they are European descent antler and they came from New Zealand. I buy them once or twice a year – by the container load – 40,000 pounds of them. Then I used them in my furniture, chandeliers, and some in my eagles.”

This particular piece, Glaze began a year ago. However, this is not the first time that he has had a sculpture auctioned off for BCFO gala.

“Last year, we did a walnut table, they had a deer carved into it and it went for $6,000 that was split between Spiva (Center for the Arts in Joplin) and BCFO,” he said. “This year, this is going to go strictly 100 percent to BCFO. I am doing separate eagle for Spiva that is in progress now. Plus, I am doing a sculpture for Mercy Hospital that will be finished by January, it will be dedicated January inside the new hospital, it is huge, it is 12 feet tall, 52 inches wide.”

He hopes that this sculpture will do well at the gala auction.

“We hope that the gala will go well, and I think that it will,” he said. “The reason why we do it is that the money that they collect goes to help people not for the medical part, but to get there: tires, gas, toothbrushes, just anything that they need to go through the treatment.”

About BCFO

The Breast Cancer Foundation of the Ozarks is a resource for individuals and families in Southwest Missouri who are impacted by breast cancer.

Glaze is pleased with the sculpture.

“I fell honored and our Glaze family, my daughter, son, and grandson, and Judy up in Heaven that we can do this,” he said. “All cancer is bad, breast cancer. A lot of people will go from brain cancer to breast cancer and breast cancer to brain cancer, the whole body is involved.”

Kristi Seibert, outreach director with BCFO, expressed the meaning of this year’s theme with the gala,

“This year, the theme is Star Wars, we call it ‘New Hope,’ which has some meaning within the Star Wars world as well,” she said. “As a breast cancer survivor myself, we get some new ladies and some gentlemen as well diagnosed with breast cancer, the one thing that we always have is hope. And we always count on that we are going to live and we are going to make it. We don’t even perceive without any other notion. There is always hope.”

The organizers are still taking donations either monetary or other donations, which the money will go to help others. For more information on how to donate, contact Seibert at 434-2200.

This will not the last time that Glaze will help BCFO.

“We are going to start on another project for BCFO right after this show is over with,” he said. “We will do it.”