Page 30 - The Hunt - Spring/Summer 2023
P. 30

                  Back home, Bright landed a job at the Philadelphia Stock Exchange—“even though I’d never gone to college,” he chuckles.
A few years later, he had his epiphany.
As Bright tells it, seeing the Jersey cow in the field suddenly flipped a switch inside him that made him want to interpret what he’d seen. “I was friends with Eric Parks, [sculptor] Charles Parks’ son, but I knew that if he sculpted the cow it wouldn’t get what I had in my mind,” he says. “So I had him to teach me how to do it, and I worked on it for about a year. When I finished and it was cast in 1976, he explained to me that I didn’t make just one cow but several [copies].”
The next 10 years were eventful ones for the young artist. He began taking nighttime painting lessons at the Pennsylvania Academy of the Fine Arts. He also began working
for Mrs. Nancy Penn Smith Hannum, the legendary lady master of the hounds. In time, he bought her estate. In the late 1970s and early 1980s, Bright exercised horses. “For half a season, I got to hunt the hounds when the
regular huntsman was injured,” he says. It was also during this period that he
met his future wife, Maria Starr Cummin.
“Sculpture is the real thing—you can see it in the round. On the other hand, painting is more an expression of the spirit.”
Ten years younger and a former classmate of Bright’s sisters, she needed an escort to a charity event, and Bright obliged. They were married in the summer of 1984. Starr
Cummin Bright received her veterinary degree for the University of Pennsylvania and became a horse doctor.
The couple had three children before disaster struck. While his wife was in church one day in the summer of 1991, a deranged man shot her. “The bullet hit her spine,” Bright says.
Although she wasn’t paralyzed, it ended her career at a vet. “She was no longer quick enough to work around horses,” he says.
She continued to suffer severe pain from the injuries. Today, she’s an active advocate for gun control. Bright’s three children are now grown and into their careers. The oldest daughter is a writer in Montana, and the second is an doctor who did her residency in the Bronx during the COVID pandemic. The youngest, a son, is a management consultant in the medical industry.
As for Bright, he continues to challenge himself as an artist. He’s also a painter, but he’s given more time to the three-dimensional side of his work to prepare for a one-man
    28 THE HUNT MAGAZINE spring 2023

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