Bill Snow likes to think that he’s retired.

Bill Snow likes to think that he’s retired.

“I never quit,” he said Thursday while preparing his pieces for an exhibition. “You know, you never quit.”

Snow, along with Carthage artist Robin Putnam and Joplin artist M. Justin Hale, are the focus of the most recent exhibition at artCentral, “Three Dimensional Elements.” The three artists were hard at work Thursday morning, scrambling to set up displays and position their sculptures for Friday’s opening.

The artists compliment each other well, said artCentral Director Sally Armstrong.

“The show will be very cohesive,” she said Thursday. “They have a similar direction they’re going in, just with different mediums.”

Hale’s work is predominantly in wood. He said the medium seems to suit is nature, while also showing deference to Snow and Putnam for their work in stone.

“It takes a special person to work with stone,” he said. “For me, I have to have the wood to draw me, to guide me.”

Hale said the wood already has a plan before he even touches it.

“The grain of the wood, the burls and the different colorations … It seems to already have shapes and suggest shapes.”

The exhibit features 14 of his pieces.

Snow’s work with bronze is well documented and well known. His sculptures of Marlin Perkins and Alice in Wonderland grace the grounds surrounding the Carthage Public Library.

The 71-year-old has been sculpting for 40 years, and he’s affected the area with more than just his work.

“Anybody in this area that works with stone, I trained ‘em,” he said.

Snow has seven pieces in the exhibition in both stone and bronze.

Robin Putnam, if not as publicly prolific, is easily Snow’s equal in detail and craftsmanship. Her alabaster sculptures of griffons, iguanas and fish are exquisitely shaped and polished — a process she relishes.

She said she loved working with limestone because “it’s earthy. It’s full of fossil inclusions, which means there’s a surprise everyday.”

Scanning her pieces, the eye can easily pick out the places where fossil and sediment have crafted their own designs onto her work.

“Mother Nature made that color,” she said of one of her pieces, “Iago II,” an iguana sculpted from alabaster. “You have to try and figure out how you can make the design work with your design.
“It’s a lot of hard work and a lot of wild imagination.”

Putnam has 10 pieces in the show.

Three Dimensional Elements opens at 6 p.m. Friday. It will remain open for another three weeks.