Mark Russo, CEO of Foundation Michelangelo (FM) enters into agreement to purchase Bend Bronze, Inc. Bend Bronze is a sculpture casting foundry located just outside Portland, Oregon and focuses on high end bronze and pure silver castings. Founded by Roy Swan in 2003, Bend Bronze provides castings services for over 85 sculpture artists throughout the United States. Employing 12 incredibly talented men and women Bend bronze is one the nation’s finest foundries.
“Purchasing the foundry gives Foundation Michelangelo additional control and privacy over its production of new images that come to market. Ownership will also give our shareholders a 50% reduction in casting costs and expenses in the mold making processes.” Says Mark Russo of FM.
Roy Swan, a master craftsman and bronze artisan has been creating castings for over 20 years. Roy has been casting works for Mark Russo since 1997. Roy knows the quality of work desired by Russo and the two have developed a strong and dependable working relationship. Bend Bronze not only casts small desk top size pieces but also is a leading monumental casting foundry as well, building and creating heroic monuments over 50’ in height including several massive eagle sculptures and a 35’ bronze elephant by Lorenzo Ghiglieri.
Foundation Michelangelo provides high-end limited-edition bronze sculptures for charity fundraising events as well as creating and distributing its world-class images to fine art galleries in the United States. The subject matter of these pieces ranges from wildlife themes to historical, cultural, western, and biblical.
Foundation Michelangelo has amassed a master mold collection of more than 700 original works of art including many works from world-famous artists, Lorenzo Ghiglieri and Laran Ghiglieri, as well as master molds that originated from the Vatican and the Villa Borghese Museum in Rome. Bernini and Michelangelo are also among the artists that are included in the mold collection.
The company has a strong focus on philanthropy. One of their main business divisions is their charity auction program, which provides fine art pieces for fundraising events and auctions. The unique business model sets the company apart from the rest. Russo created this innovative model in 1998 by placing valuable bronze castings into gala charity fundraising events and giving 50 percent of the final sales price of the pieces to the nonprofit with no strings attached. The first piece sold for $63,000. This model has subsequently created tens of millions of dollars in revenue for the nonprofits.
“Foundation Michelangelo Corp is now positioned to be the sole provider of high-end bronze sculptures for nonprofit auctions throughout the United States,” says Russo. “With more than 600,000 live charity auctions per year, and growing daily, the ability for Foundation Michelangelo Corp to scale its auction model is beyond exciting for just one of its profit centers.”
Foundation Michelangelo has had a third party independently appraise its mold collection at more than $900 million. This asset of master molds took more than 35 years to create and is truly irreplaceable. Currently, Foundation Michelangelo Corp has no debt and has successfully completed its first round of equity finance of $1million.