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Sculpture by Bill Verhelst 

See Bill's wife Susan Lecky's paintings on their other page.

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Bill Verhelst - Natures Voice Series, 2004
10 x 9 inches

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Bill Verhelst - Natures Voice Series, 2004
17 x 9 inches

 

Bill Verhelst - Natures Voice Series, 2004
22 x 7 inches

 

Statement

My career as a sculptor might best be characterized as a continuous search for non-objective personal imagery that reaches beyond that which is verbal and knowable. To somehow touch on an archetypal silent language that belongs and exists within the depths of our feelings. It might best be described as reaching that special moment and feeling we might well experience with the sunrise and smell of that first spring morning, the sound of a great symphony or hidden meaning in exceptional poetry.

The forms I use are derived from that which we are capable of conceiving in our minds and the feelings we find and experience in the magnificence of nature. Since the early spires in my sculpture, my visual vocabulary has slowly grown more complex. Subtle changes occur as I continue to grow in thoughts and feelings. This is usually the result of periods of experimentation with smaller works in my studio. However, the concepts are usually continued and find ultimate resolution in large-scale temporary or permanent works.

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Resumé

I received my BFA and MA Degrees from the University of Denver in 1949.

From 1950 to 1962 I was principally involved in studio works. It was the usual career of invitational and competitive exhibitions primarily west of the Mississippi. Some of the competitive shows were at such art museums as in Denver, Dallas, Omaha, Kansas City, San Francisco, Jackson, Mississippi, Sarasota, Florida, Santa Fe, New Mexico, Walker Art Center, Grand Rapids, Michigan and Oklahoma City and I had a One-Man Exhibition in NYC in 1958, at the Barone Gallery, which became my agent from 1958 through 1960. I also worked at various teaching and curatorial positions at the Denver Art Museum at this time.

From 1963 to 1974, I concentrated primarily on large-scale commissions in Colorado, Texas and Louisiana, doing works for banks, churches and public places. I joined the faculty of Southern Methodist University in 1963 to teach and organize a sculpture program. I participated in the Denver Sculpture Symposium in 1968 (works for a public park).

From 1970 to 1973 I also wrote a textbook, Sculpture, Tools, Materials, and Techniques, published by Prentice Hall, Inc., which was used by numerous universities and colleges. In 1978 I organized and conducted the first Texas Sculpture Symposium at Southern Methodist University.

From 1975 to 1984 I discontinued large-scale commissions, deciding to return to studio works and attempting to develop some new directions in my work. I worked in cast polyester and fiberglass primarily until 1988. During this time, I started to investigate random and informal relationships of natural form in conjunction with man-made shapes, resulting in temporary installation works.

I did my first installation at the Southern Methodist University Art Gallery in the fall of 1981. In 1982 I did one at Cammeron University Gallery in Lawton, Oklahoma and in 1983 I did subsequent installations at Connemera Sculpture Park north of Dallas; East Texas University, in Commerce, Texas; Texas Invitational at The Longview Art Museum in Longview, Texas, and the Texas Sculpture Symposium at the University of Texas in Austin, Texas.

From 1984, I continued my interest in random forms and further developed the notion of sculpture where parts could be moved and the work could be altered. I called these works kinetoforms.

I retired from teaching in 1986 and started a series of small, moderate-sized kinetoform works in painted plywood. These works were exhibited in two-person exhibitions at the Clifford Gallery, Dallas 1988, University of Tulsa Gallery, 1988 and T.W.U. Art Gallery, Denton, Texas the fall of 1989.

In January of 1989 I returned to large scale outdoor works in stained concrete as well as continuing smaller works. One such large work is in front of The Art Center in Waco, Texas.

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See Bill's wife Susan Lecky's paintings
on their other page.

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Sculptures on this page Copyright
by Bill Verhelst.

Photographs by JR Compton

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