Death of Renowned Sculptor Alan Collins
Alan Rodney Collins died October 1, 2016, in Dorchester, Dorset, England. He was born in Beddington, Surrey, England on August 15, 1928, to Edith Elizabeth (Alibon) and William Robert Collins.
Childhood, Education and Family: Alan was interested in art from a very young age as a way of spending time and means of communication. When it was difficult to explain in words something he had seen, he was more successful by drawing images. At the age of 16 after having attended state schools, he entered Wimbledon School of Art where he studied with Freda Skinner. While there he won first prize in a nationwide contest and won a scholarship to the Royal College of Art where he studied sculpture and worked as assistant to Barry Hart.
Alan developed a lifelong connection to the Seventh-day Adventist Church after having attended a series of meetings by evangelist Thomas J. Bradley.
Alan met his first wife, Jeanne Fuegi, at the Holloway Adventist church in London. They married at this same church in 1954. They had a daughter Marianne and a son Mark Alan, and two grandchildren Pierce and Reese. Jeanne died in 1992 after a five-year illness.
He married Aliki Athanasiou Grivas Snow in 1993 at the Pacific SDA Church in California and became a stepfather to Demetri, Nicholas and Philip Snow, and step-grandfather to Alex, Andrew, Sebastian and Ciara Snow. He had one brother, Reginald W. Collins.
Working Life: Alan created numerous sculptures for churches, libraries and other buildings in London and other cities in England. In the early 60s Alan worked at Guildford Cathedral; he created the 15-feet high weathervane of Archangel Gabriel and many other sculptures inside and outside the cathedral, including the stone carving St. Martha of Bethany for which he won the Sir Otto Beit Award in 1964. That same year Alan was elected a Fellow of the Royal British Society of Sculptors. He also created the John F. Kennedy Memorial in Runnymede, England, a 10 x 6 foot stone inscription.
In 1968 Alan and his family moved to South Lancaster, Massachusetts, where he taught art at Atlantic Union College. They moved to Berrien Springs, Michigan in 1971 where he taught at Andrews University. In 1978 the family moved to La Sierra University in Riverside, California, where he taught for 11 years before he retired. He was awarded honorary doctorate degrees by Andrews University (1988) and Loma Linda University (2000).
Some of his most well-known and loved sculptures are: “Three Angels of the Apocalypse,” St. Albans, England; the 22-feet high “Regeneration,” and “Legacy of Leadership” at Andrews University, Berrien Springs, Michigan; “The Good Samaritan” and “Who Touched Me?” at Loma Linda University, California; “The Glory of God’s Grace” based on the parable of the prodigal son, La Sierra University, Riverside, California; “Jesus Among Us,” at Walla Walla University, College Place, Washington; “Sacrificial Service,” based on the biblical account of Simon of Cyrene taking the cross from Jesus, for Oakwood College, Huntsville, Alabama; “Christ Our Healer,” at Paradise Valley Memorial Hospital, National City, California; and “The Sower” at Burman University, Alberta, Canada.
After his second marriage he moved to Salinas, California and worked as a freelance sculptor. He and his wife moved to Washington State and then settled in Phoenix, Oregon for the next 12 years.
In 2013 Alan returned to England to Bridport, Dorset, to be near to his lifelong friend Philip Murdin, a letter carver and sculptor.