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Wilbert Verhelst, 1923-2012

Bill Verhelst

Image of Bill Verhelst courtesy Susan Lecky   Photographer Unknown

Bill Verhelst sculpture against Susan Lecky painting

Bill Verhelst   Enigmatic Energy Burst Through   (detail)   2001   wood and plastic   25 x 58 x 18 inches with
Susan Lecky   Remembering-Forgetting/Thoughts-Memories-Dreams   acrylic on canvas   64 x 55 inches

Prominent Dallas Sculptor and former SMU Professor and friend of many in this community, Wilbert "Bill" Verhelst died Sunday, December 16, 2012.

"Ver," as many knew him, literally wrote the book on sculptural materials, Sculpture: Tools, Materials and Techniques. He was a Supporting Member of this website, and his work is shown on his member page with a bio and Artist's Statement, a small piece I reminisced about, and there's a short story about visiting his and Susan's home and studios called Visiting Marty & Richard and Susan & Bill, as well as a poem he called Smothered, that we headlined Not to exceed a perimeter of 96 inches protesting size limitations for the 2001 Dallas Visual Arts Center (now The Contemporary) member show.

Ver Reading Art's Birthday Poem    Ver Reading His Poetry at @rt's birthday

Bill Verhelst reading a Birthday Poem at Art Shirer's 50th
Birthday at the Continental Gin Building in September 2002 

In 2005, I wrote a story comparing his and wife Susan's work called Bill & Susan Explore Color and Shape and Line and Space and … about their show at the Bath House Cultural Center. His lecture, Speaking of Sculpture by Bill Verhelst is on the Texas Sculpture Association website, which also shows some of his work,

I considered Bill a friend, and I always enjoyed sharing wide-ranging conversations with him about his latest exploits with materials, tools and form. He was always working on something new and interesting.


by Wilbert Verhelst

Oh Spirit
like fading petal or setting sun
sorrow not
but joy
worn body and mind abandoned
for all living things
earth's journey must end
In tomorrow's mist
like sprouting seed
born again
on another earth, planet or star
or within the heart of another creature
Eternal promise
Of a new tomorrow

from Reflections, Poems by Wilbert Verhelst, copyright 2003


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