Sculpture in the Dell

Crestwood’s Yew Dell Gardens
to hold regional art show

Participants White, Lawler
give event a publicity boost

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

CRESTWOOD, Ky. (June 2009) – From the time she was a young child, Meg White has been driven to create sculpture. So far-reaching is her talent that she was chosen to be a co-chair for an art-inspired event at Yew Dell Gardens.

Yew Dell Sculpture

Photo by Don Ward

Meg White’s sculpture,
Miss Jessel, is based on
a character from the
Henry James’ novel,
“The Turn of the Screw.”

“I can’t imagine doing anything else,” said White, 46, who principally sculpts small and monumental-scale limestone works and limited edition bronzes. “I am fascinated with the ability to work out ideas on a large scale and see those ideas become reality-particularly in public venues.”
White, who grew up in the suburban neighborhood of Silver Hills in New Albany, Ind., is a self-taught sculptor. She produces mostly large pieces of artwork, preferring wildlife and figurative sculpture.
“I particularly like to do sculptures that have a narrative context,” she said.
When creating a sculpture, many different things inspire White such as nature and literature. She often gets ideas while working on other sculptures and considering variations of those pieces.
In 1991, White discovered stone carving at Don Lawler’s studio. From there she began to experiment and create wildlife and figurative works on a full-time basis.
White and Lawler are married and own Lawler-White Sculptor Studios Inc. in Stephensport, Ky. When Lawler donated a piece of sculpture to Yew Dell Gardens in Crestwood, Ky., the couple became aware of what the gardens have to offer in terms of horticulture and artistic expression.
Believing the gardens to be a perfect spot for an outdoor sculpture show, they contacted Executive Director Paul Cappiello and Assistant Director Karla Drover about playing host to such an event. “They gave us the honor of co-chairs for proposing the idea,” said White.
The Second Annual Sculpture in the Dell opened May 30 and runs through Aug. 2. More than 60 pieces will be displayed throughout the grounds by more than 20 regional sculptors and glass artists, with eight of them new to this year’s show.
“One new really great feature is that this year the show includes several Barney Bright bronze pieces recently cast from Mr. Bright’s original molds,” said Leah Whitmer, Director of Marketing and Development for Yew Dell Gardens.
A private opening reception was held May 29 for Yew Dell members only.
There are so many people who garden, and those who think they would love to have sculpture in their gardens, said Yew Dell Gardens Executive Director Paul Cappiello. “But there are many who do not know how to use sculpture in their gardens to the best effect. Displaying sculpture at Yew Dell provides ideas and connects gardeners with artists in the region.”
Organizers thought the first year’s event would garner a small group of Yew Dell members and individuals acquainted with the artists. They were surprised when hundreds came for the opening weekend and Yew Dell had more than 4,000 visitors in over two months, said Whitmer.
The success of the event was due in part to having White and Lawler as co-chairs, Whitmer said. They “lent a lot of credibility and got the quick attention of sculpture and art lovers throughout the region,” she said. “I think it is truly one of the most unique art events in the area.”
Whitmer also believes there is no other event that showcases garden-appropriate art. Any gardener who thought of himself as an art lover had the chance to discover a unique piece that would enhance their garden perfectly and learn how to situate the artwork in their own gardens, she said.
“Many sculptors look for an opportunity like this as well,” said Cappiello. Some of the artwork is quite large, requiring cranes to move it, so such an outdoor setting is perfect to display the sculptures and bring exposure to them.
All of the artwork is new each year, said Cappiello. “We provide new venues, and things to see,” at Sculpture in the Dell. “This has become a wonderful community event.”
Proceeds from Sculpture in the Dell go to the artists and to Yew Dell Garden’s future growth and programs. “We exist only through the support of a strong membership base, an active volunteer corps of more than 300 and a wonderfully supportive larger community,” said Whitmer.
Yew Dell Gardens is a 33-acre public botanical garden and horticulture resource center. “Yew Dell is extremely focused on education and research. Every event we have is conceived to offer people an opportunity to learn along with us,” said Whitmer.
All artwork is available for purchase. Regular admission during the week is $7 per person or $5 for seniors.

• For more information, contact Yew Dell Gardens at (502) 241-4788 or visit www.YewDellGardens.org. Meg White’s sculptures can be viewed at www.SculptorsTwo.com.

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