Jason Louis Arkles was born in Washington, DC, one of five children of a woodworker and a quilter. In 1996, he traveled to Florence, Italy, where he met Charles Cecil, an accomplished portrait and landscape painter who heads a small, private atelier in Florence's oldest working artist's studio. Mr. Cecil hired Jason to assist in the construction and outfitting of a new studio for sculpture, a medium not previously offered to the pupils at the atelier. From January 1997 until 2006, Jason was department head and principle instructor of the Sculpture Room at Charles Cecil Studios.
Jason's initial task at Charles Cecil Studio was to transpose a visual technique for drawing and painting from life, known as sight-size, into a curriculum for three-dimensional work. In effect, the sculpture department at Charles H. Cecil Studios was an experiment in regaining a nearly lost sculptural tradition; Jason recorded the sight-size sculpture method in his first book, Modeling From Life, in 2006.
In June of 2000, the National Sculpture Society awarded him the George Gach Prize, for his entry in the National Sculpture Competition, and the Gloria Medal for his 'meritorious body of work'. Since then Jason has taken part in national and international exhibitions In Europe and the United States, has completed several large works for clients such as the Archdiocese of Los Angeles and the United States Army, and is represented in private collections around the world. He rarely exhibits and declines gallery representation.
His teaching atelier, Studio Della Statua, opened in 2010 in Florence, where he passes on the traditions of figurative sculpture to a small number of private students. Jason continues his own education- notably in 2010 by way of a Master's degree in Sacred Arts from a pontifical academy in Rome. In addition to publishing a translation into English of Leon Battista Alberti's Della Statua (whence he derives the name of his atelier), Jason lectures for the History of Art Department of the British Institute of Florence, and gives occasional lectures at several other Florentine studios. Jason is also the host of the popular podcast on figurative sculpture, The Sculptor's Funeral.
Even with his essentially 19th century training and taste, Jason has no desire to 'turn back the clock' and ignore or discredit many of the intellectual and formal developments in art of the past century. He firmly believes that the art of the twenty-first century will be a continuation of the theoretical and psychological progress of Modern art, synthesized with a much-needed return to Nature as the source of stimulus and motive in creative work.