Stage Sets, Tsunamis and Sintra

I just saw my friend Terry Hays’ exhibit “Irreversible Change” at the MAC in Dallas. What a treat!

Terry’s expertise is in making stage sets for theater productions. His artistic creativity can also be seen in small, and not so small, 3-D sculpture.

Swimming to Salvation, escape from the water demons, Acrylic on wood, Sintra, 52" x 78" x 12.5"

Swimming to Salvation... Detail

He acknowledges that these sculptures are models for possible stage sets. I saw them as stand alone sculptures. They are to be viewed from the front, but the various layers can be seen from the side. The wood and Sintra surfaces are painstakingly and exquisitely painted. Seen from a distance they look like glass mosaics. As you come closer, you see the incredible painted detail.

Pembina Highway - Acrylic on wood, Sintra 52" x 44" x 19.5" - detail

Terry says, “These models draw heavily from current events such as the tsunami in Japan, earthquake in Haiti and wind driven fires in California, all natural disasters of unimaginable scale.”

He uses a special saw to make his precise curved and angled cuts out of the Sintra, only slightly  softer than plexiglass.

Terry recycles, too. This piece incorporates tree roots, cleaned and painted. Survival in the midst of chaos.

Irreversible Change, Acrylic on wood, Sintra, 5' x 12'

Irreversible Change - detail

Some of my favorite pieces are grouped on one wall. They are small and more monochromatic, mostly browns, black and white, but boy, are they powerful. They are very high relief, very complex and very compelling.  Think desert flora, Native American ritual objects and African headdresses.

Souvenir #3, Acrylic on wood, Sintra, 11" x 11"

Untitled, Acrylic on wood, Sintra, 19" x 24"


The show runs until July 7. Catch it if you can. It’s a great way to start your summer.

Thank you, Terry, for giving us such beautiful and sensitive works of art.

Glorious Glass


Dale Chihuly , master glassmaker,  has come to Dallas!  Chihuly at the Dallas Arboretum is a must see exhibit. This man-made spectacle consists of fifteen glass sculptures situated among the Arboretum’s sixty-six acres.  They soar into the air like this one, a blinding burst of colorful spikes wired to a tall armature.

Photo by Cecelia Feld

Some surprise you as you come upon them nestled in a small water garden. So much of Chihuly’s glass is brightly colored that seeing these white “macchia” forms placed among the lily pads is a nice change of pace and feels just right.

Photo by Cecelia Feld

Water is used as a setting as much as open space. Two skiffs, one filled with float balls, the other with wild and crazy shapes, sit on a small pond with White Rock Lake in the background. It’s easy to imagine Venice.

Photo by Cecelia Feld

There are sharp, reed-like spikes and gently curving Heron forms rising out of other small ponds.

Photo by Cecelia Feld

Photo by Cecelia Feld

Some sculptures resemble out- of- this -world flora.

Photo by Cecelia Feld

Or fantastical sea creatures.

Photo by Cecelia Feld

As you enter a more enclosed garden a sunburst atop a tall pole greets you. Brilliant reds, yellows and oranges bombard the senses. You stare in wonder. How can glass be so fragile, yet so strong?

Photo by Cecelia Feld

Photo by Cecelia Feld

Is this guy having a bad hair day?

There is no end to the surprises.

The exhibit runs through November 5, 2012. It’s worth multiple visits. The sculptures will look different by day or night and in different seasons.

New Guy In Town

One of my favorite activities, when I’m not in my studio, is visiting museums. On a recent trip to Denver I went to the new Clyfford Still Museum. It is adjacent to the Denver Art Museum, its straight lines and solid mass contrasting sharply with the DAM’s angular walls. The Brad Cloepfil designed building houses almost 94% of Still’s total output (paintings, works on paper and sculptures).

Clyfford Still Museum - gallery

The path from representational depictions of farm workers in the 1920’s and 30’s to his fully realized Abstract Expressionist paintings of the 50’s until his death in 1980 are beautifully displayed, several to a gallery.

I was in college during the heyday of Abstract Expressionism. I was not as aware of Still and his contemporaries as maybe I should have been, (no Jackson Pollacks in my collection), but I was greatly influenced by one of the group, William Baziotes, who was my teacher at Hunter College. His discussions of how to “see” the world around us in terms of color, shape, line and texture influenced the direction my own art would take.

Clyfford Still "PH-272", 1950, detail

I have always said my work is about those “relationships.” As long as you understand that, you will be comfortable with the absence of object or narrative in my work.

Cecelia Feld #249 Sienna, acrylic painting, 69x53", 1983

Cecelia Feld #1209 This Must Be Your Lucky Day, collagraph collage, 8x11", 2009

See what I mean?