Creating stability in Durham through art

Have you been looking for a place that has real, tangible arts that reflects the dynamic personality of Durham?

Liberty Arts, located on 923 Franklin St., is a non-profit arts community whose collaborative practice does just that.

Sculptor Tripp Jarvis poses for a picture crouching down into one of his sculptures. (Staff photo by Naomi Marín-Rosario)

Sculptor Tripp Jarvis poses for a picture crouching down into one of his sculptures. (Staff photo by Naomi Marín-Rosario)

Tripp Jarvis, a long-time North Carolinian, is just one of the many artists within Liberty Arts who showcases his one-of-a-kind sculptures as an embodiment of who he is.

Tripp was born in Raleigh and grew up in Holly Springs. At a young age, Tripp felt he was predestined to be an artist.

“I taught myself when I was a five-year-old to draw by copying the Sunday comics to see how well I could draw them without tracing.”

Jarvis says that art has always stuck by him through the years and that it’s been one of his most faithful friends.

As his teenage years passed, he followed his passion by attending East Carolina University by receiving a Bachelors of Fine Arts.

Upon graduating, Jarvis traveled to Estonia, located in Eastern Europe, where he studied ceramics at the Estonia Academy of Art and has been a sculptor ever since.

Jarvis specializes in iron casting, which he makes from scratch, and stone carving.

“My work centers on the physical and spiritual worlds and I believe the heart is at the center of these two worlds,” said Jarvis.

Jarvis says that the theme for his works of art come from finding the grounded-ness in life throughout times of depression and creating stability to counteract that.

“Hopefully my sculptures benefit Durham in the same manner that it helps me. Just bringing that sense of calmness and, really, stability and balance in a way that they might not be aware of by just the structure of the sculptures that I make, and the feelings they invoke,” said Jarvis.

Tripp Jarvis working on one of his iron casted sculptures. Photo by Naomi Marín-Rosario.

Tripp Jarvis working on one of his iron cast sculptures. (Staff photo by Naomi Marín-Rosario)

“I love what Tripp does. He finds a lot of this therapeutic,” said Jackie MacLeod, a metal artist who has a workstation next to Jarvis. “I think you can feel that in his pieces. You know? That his heart and soul goes into it; and for him it’s not about practicality or making something for a certain purpose. I think it’s all about expression about who he is.”

Jarvis describes that their mission as artists is to develop access to 3-D art and offer programs to the community educating them on the skills required fulfill such talents.

As he states on his very own website, “It is my hope that my sculptures awaken the heart to the ever-unfolding blossom of the divinity residing in us all, which together we make up the garden of life.”

Liberty Arts welcomes everyone around the community to take part through their hands-on classes, public events, mentorships, and commissions for they believe that through community outreach it encourages visionary thinking.

For more of Tripp Jarvis’ sculptures, visit, or at his personal website,