The Gathering Place East
23300 Commerce Park
Beachwood, OH 44122
A Botanical Voice
Helen Wilson Artist Statement
Mixed media artist, Helen Wilson’s says that her artist statement is less of a professional treatise and more of a love story. She admits to being head over heels in love with all things Botanical.
Helen’s love of all things Botanical began at a young age, as she grew up in Southern California playing daily in her Grandmother’s lush garden. She has fond memories of hanging from the branches of the avocado trees and watching the night blooming cactus. Her art career began as a middle school student doodling on cereal boxes and gum wrappers. At the age of 16, she was introduced to the wonder of a Rapidograph technical pen. She spent hours drawing and found art to be a means of communication. Entering into the world of adulthood she set her artistic interests aside for school, work and family life.
Jump ahead several decades and in the 90’s, Helen’s family moved to the edge of the Cuyahoga Valley National Park. She found herself surrounded by beautiful,deciduous woods. Her childhood fascination with the natural world was rekindled and she felt the need to respond and give voice to the botanical world around her.
The beauty of the woods compelled her to return to her teenage interest in art making. Helen tried many different artistic approaches and finally discovered her voice in the mixed media collage process. After several years of experimenting she devised her own unique process of 3-D paper collage. She uses acrylic paints, mediums, inks and metal leaf. Helen combines several techniques to create her many layered pieces. Her techniques include mono - printing, asemic writing,sgraffito and intricate cutting and folding methods. She discovered a fascination for the
The Gathering Place West
25425 Center Ridge Road
Westlake, OH 44145
Inspiring Discovery: Forming Nature
Paul Johanni Artist Statement
It's fun to play in nature’s garden. Nature’s garden gives me simple fibers, like fallen pine needles and dried grasses, to fashion into functional structures and whimsical, free-form sculptures. Having no formal education in art or natural sciences – and therefore none of the learned restraints – I am blessed with the freedom to explore.
My art represents what I have discovered and perfected while playing in nature’s garden. There is excitement in working with raffia as my thread. This thread is less than three feet long; each length is unique and changes in shape from one end to the other. I search for wood that has funky features. Hidden inside the branch or stump is an amazing world; using a saw, chisel, and sandpaper, I bring the world to life. I search for materials that can be married by the raffia threads to make a happy, complimentary partnership. Pine needles like to play with clay! Wood likes to be surrounded by pine needles! Each new piece takes on a unique personality – I enjoy “talking” to it, “hearing” what it wants to be, and deciding with it how we will relate.
I am inspired by nature’s hidden beauties and the opportunity to discover and form them into visual art that you and I can enjoy. Nature’s garden has many hidden secrets!