Jeffrey Varilla and Anna Koh Varilla are a husband and wife sculptor team that has been working on public monuments for about twenty-five years. Stylistically, their work reflects a passion for "Classic Realism." They have produced religious and secular works for many locations around the country and overseas. Their goal as artists is to incorporate the artistry learned from the great masters of the past with the visions and aspirations of our society today.
They believe that an important role of art is to communicate with the public. As professional artists, they closely work with their clients, architects, and foundries. They believe that a work of public art is a great responsibility and that it should harmonize with the environment, clearly communicate ideas to the viewer, and should reflect the sincerity of the artist. They are Fellows at the National Sculpture Society.
The Search for An Artist
Over the years, others have envisioned a monument that would add to the message of the Statue of Liberty. Their designs varied in scope, size, message and imagery. Several years ago, I was blessed with a similar idea to build a monument of historic proportions. The basic design elements and purpose were immediately put to paper and reviewed. In time, a national search was initiated to find a qualified sculptor to create a historic monument. Members of the National Sculpture Society (NSS) were notified of our RFP announcement including an invitation to submit initial design sketches. Design guidelines were provided in the RFP for what is called “the most compelling monument project to freedom of the 21st Century.” Over 270 of America’s best sculptors were invited to participate. From this lengthy evaluation process, and the subsequent years that followed, the Monument to Enduring Freedom was born.
Standing head and shoulders above all finalist submissions were the work of Anna and Jeffrey Koh-Varilla of Chicago. Their grasp of the heart and soul of this monument project became abundantly evident as their design sketch, three-foot clay maquette, and purpose statement were carefully reviewed.
In 2018 Anna and Jeffrey Koh-Varilla were officially designated as the winners of this national search. History will forever revere them as the sculptors of the Monument to Enduring Freedom.
Recognized as ‘Fellows’ – the highest and most prestigious category of membership in the NSS – Anna and Jeffrey possess exceptional talent and insight into every aspect of this project. Their proven artistic accomplishments depicting classical realism on canvas and with clay set them apart from their peers.
I am grateful and honored to welcome them as valued members of our team.
Daniel L. Bolz
Freedom Alliance, LLC
Jeffrey H. Varilla
Jeffrey H. Varilla of Chicago, Illinois majored in art history at the University of Iowa and after two years transferred to the School of the Art Institute of Chicago where he received his BFA in painting. After graduating, he briefly returned to the Art Institute to study sculpture. It was in the sculpture department where he met his future wife and sculpture partner, Anna Koh Varilla.
Anna Koh Varilla
Anna Koh Varilla was born in Seoul, South Korea. When she was twelve years old, she was chosen along with one hundred twenty students from all over South Korea to study at Ye Won Fine Art School. Anna later enrolled in the Hong Ik Art University where she received a BFA in sculpture. She later enrolled in the School of the Art Institute of Chicago and graduated with another BFA.
The monuments they’ve created together have been seen in various regions of the United States and also in South Korea and England. The Dr. Martin Luther King Monument in Austin, Texas, Soldier Field Veterans Monument in Chicago, the Vice President Humphrey Monument in St. Paul, Minnesota, the Tribute to Jack Nicklaus in Dublin, Ohio, and the Mayor Hudnut Monument in Indianapolis are a few examples of important works they’ve created over the years. In the year 2014, when Pope Francis visited Seoul, Korea, their Korean Pieta, which was part of the celebration, was dedicated by Cardinal Yum. Anna and Jeff won numerous nationwide competitions over the years. In 2016, Anna and Jeff won a nationwide competition for a Col. Neilson monument. It was dedicated on July 9, 2017, in New Brunswick, New Jersey.
- 2016 Col. John Neilson Monument, New Brunswick, NJ - 1ST PRIZE
- 2015 Emancipation Proclamation Monument, Richmond, VA - FINALIST
- 2014 Mayor William Hudnut Monument, Indianapolis, IN - COMPETITION WINNER
- 2010 Doris Miller Monument, Waco, TX - FINALIST
- 2010 National Sacred Art Competition, Ministry & Liturgy Magazine - BEST OF SHOW and Bene Category
- 2007 Hubert H. Humphrey Monument Competition, St. Paul, MN - 1ST PRIZE
- 2006 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument Competition, Roanoke, VA - 1ST PRIZE
- 2005 Helen Keller Sculpture Competition, Birmingham, AL - FINALIST
- 2005 Andrew Young International Competition, Atlanta, GA - SEMI-FINALIST
- 2000 Barbara Jordan Monument Competition for Austin International Airport - FINALIST
- 1998 Awarded the Jack Nicklaus Monument, Dublin, OH- 1ST PRIZE
- 1998 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument Competition, Austin, TX - 1ST PRIZE
- 2018 Three portrait busts, Marble Emporium, Chicago, IL
- 2018 Bud Paschen portrait, Paschen Construction Co., Chicago, IL
- 2018 Ascension Christ, Seoul South Korea
- 2017 Col. John Neilson Monument, New Brunswick, NJ
- 2016 Bronze portrait bust for Han Lim Pharm Inc., Seoul, South Korea
- 2015 Fourteen Stations of the Cross, St. Michael Church, Orland Park, IL
- 2015 Angels of the Passion reliefs, Shrine of Our Lady of Guadalupe, LaCrosse, WI
- 2015 Bronze Bas-Relief "He has Risen", Seoul, South Korea
- 2015 Bronze Bust of President Obama & Sec.of State Jesse White, Hazel Crest, IL
- 2014 Mayor William Hudnut Monument, Indianapolis, Indiana
- 2013 Korean Pieta, Seoul Archdiocese, Seoul, South Korea
- 2012 Life-size bronze lion "Adelor", Lincoln Park Zoo, Chicago, IL
- 2011 Two altar bas-relief panels for Seton Church, Carnegie, PA
- 2011 Two bronze portrait busts, Seoul, South Korea
- 2010 Mother Seton Bas-relief, Kwang Ju, South Korea
- 2009 Adoring Angels; St. Joseph’s Carmelite Home, East Chicago, IN
- 2008 Fourteen Stations of the Cross; St Raphael Church, Naperville, IL
- 2008 Family of Holies; St. Margaret Mary Church, Louisville, KY
- 2007 Hubert H. Humphrey Monument; St. Paul, MN
- 2007 Andrew Chamblin bronze bust; Cambridge University, Cambridge, U.K.
- 2007 Bronze bas-relief portrait of Bob Galvin; Motorola, Schaumberg, IL
- 2006 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument; Roanoke, VA
- 2006 Zilber Monument; Milwaukee, WI (Ded. 2008)
- 2006 Altarpiece sculptures; Church of Holy Apostles, McHenry, IL
- 2006 Altarpiece sculptures, Church of St. John the Evangelist, Saint John, IN
- 2004 Saint Maria Goretti; St. Maria Goretti Church, Westfield, IN
- 2003 Soldier Field Veterans Memorial; Chicago, IL
- 2002 General James Oglethorpe Monument; Augusta, GA
- 2002 Jack Nicklaus Monument; West Palm Beach, FL
- 2001 Life-size Holy Family; St. Margaret Mary Church, Louisville, KY
- 2001 Mother of the Church; St. John the Evangelist Cathedral, Milwaukee, WI
- 2000 Portrait Painting of Father Richardson (By J.H.V.); De Paul Univerity, Chicago, IL
- 2000 Four Muses for Performing Arts Center; Hofstra University, Long Island NY
- 1999 Kneeling Virgin Mary; St. Francis of Assisi Church, Orland Park IL
- 1999 Corpus Christi, 6-foot bronze figure; Marmion Abbey, Aurora, IL
- 1998 Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. Monument; the University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX
- 1998 Bronze portrait bust of John Grayson; Elk Grove, IL
- 1997 Jack Nicklaus Monument; Dublin, OH
- 1997 Virgin Mary; St. Anthony Church, Sacramento, CA
- 1997 Bronze bust of Carol Fox, founder of the Lyric Opera of Chicago; Chicago, IL
- 1997 St. Elizabeth Seton Monument; Greensburg, PA
- 1997 Life-size Sculpture of St. Benedict; Marmion Abbey, Aurora, IL
- 1996 Bronze bust of B.J. Sampson; Pabst Theater, Milwaukee, WI
- 1996 Golfer, Ray Floyd; Georgia Golf Hall of Fame, Augusta, GA
- 1995 Bronze bust of Ben Marcus; Milwaukee, WI
- 1995 Bronze bust of Archbishop Rembert Weakland; Milwaukee, WI
- 1994 Bronze figure sculpture of the Virgin Mary; St. Edna Church, Arlington Heights, IL
- 1994 Terra cotta sculpture of the Holy Family; St. Raphael Church, Naperville, IL
- 1990 Memorial of Congressional Medal of Honor Winner Manuel Perez; Chicago, IL
- 1993 Full-figure bronzes In Memory of Lee Won Hee, Kyong Ki University, Seoul, Korea
- 1992 Bronze busts of Arthur & Florence Brock, West Suburban Hospitals, Oak Park, IL
- 1992 Bronze bust of Choi Jong Soung, Vice Minister of South Korea, Seoul, Korea
- 1991 Bronze bust of Conrad Hilton, founder of the Hilton Hotels Corp. thPalmer House
- 1990 Over life-size bust of John James Audubon; Audubon Museum, Henderson, KY
- 1990 1st Edition Audubon Bust, McCormick Foundation to the Field Museum, Chicago, IL
The Koh Varilla Guild was created in 1986 by the husband and wife sculptor team, Jeffrey H. Varilla and Anna Koh Varilla. They specialize in Classic realism and are presently Fellows of the National Sculpture Society of New York.