Lena Lucas, abstract sculptor, artist, composer to speak at Art: Up Close & Personal, tonight
Parrots—watercolor by Lena Arice Lucas
Lena Arice Lucas, creator of abstract sculpture and art and composer of New Age music, will speak about her evolving creative career during the free educational program of the Arts Council of Williamson County (ACWC), Art: Up Close & Personal, Monday, Sept. 24, 6-7:30 p.m. in the Williamson County Public Library.
Lucas explains, “My abstract paintings strive to express the spiritual challenges one faces – and transcends – while traveling through life toward the ultimate goal of realizing one’s full potential as soul. As personal journeys and life’s challenges take place via life experiences in the physical realm, so does a parallel inner movement and growth toward ‘cosmic consciousness’ take place within spiritual realms. Those inner travels are represented by my abstract paintings. I also paint naturalistic subjects as a form of meditation.”
Lucas continues, “My abstract clay sculptures can serve as solid symbols of that same spiritual concept previously described, or can deal with relationships between two souls, and how they assist one another in life. I enjoy sculpting naturalistic subjects, too.”
Lucas indicates, “I think of my wheel-thrown and hand-built pottery vessels as possessing a ceremonial energy, inspired by - though quite different from - ancient Chinese bronze vessels I saw as a young woman. The hand-built ones make me imagine a sacred purpose they may be intended for. The more structured wheel-thrown jars have automatic writing of symbols on the surfaces that I imagine as a narration or description of what is contained within. My combined wheel-thrown pottery and hand-built clay vessels often use imagery from my abstract paintings on the surfaces, with meaning intermingled, also.”
This free lecture series is open to the public, and for this month only, the event is being held on the fourth Monday night. Light refreshments, provided by Whole Foods, will be served. The main branch of the Williamson County Public Library is at 1314 Columbia Ave. in Franklin. For information about the event or the Arts Council, visit www.artscouncilwc.org or call 615-428-3845.
After studying studio art at Middle Tennessee State University and the University of Tennessee at Nashville, Lucas completed her bachelor of arts degree at Tennessee State University, majoring in art history and studio art. An Honors student, she was on the Dean’s List and graduated magna cum laude. In addition, she attended the NCECA 1984 and NCECA 2007 (National Council for Educators of Ceramic Arts) conferences; completed six weeks of individual study “Concentration” and attended the workshops, “Clay and Writing,” under Paulus Berensohn, and “Majolica,” under Stanley Mack Andersen, at the Penland School in Penland, N.C. Touring France Great Britain, Ireland and Japan, she visited artists’ studios, homes, museums and galleries.
Lucas began her career as a visual artist in 1973 in the areas of painting, sculpture and art pottery. She was also an art teacher of clay sculpture at the Knowles Senior Center, and watercolor and “Abstract Imagery” at Cheekwood Museum of Art in Nashville.
Starting in 1975, Lucas served as gallery manager of the Centennial Art Center for the Metropolitan Board of Parks and Recreation in Nashville, where she curated, installed and publicized art exhibitions, and coordinates various arts festivals. She was also an instructor there in pottery, clay sculpture, painting, textile design and batik. Several work-related spine injuries caused Lucas to take early retirement August 31, 2012. She hopes to spend her days healing, making art and teaching workshops. “I intend to remain as active as I can. I can't imagine a life without teaching!” she exclaims. “I loved my career with Metro Parks' Centennial Art Center!"
Currently, the Bryant Gallery in Nashville has her works on display on an ongoing basis. Professionally, she is a member of TACA (Tennessee Association of Craft Artists, and has been a member of VAAN (Visual Artists Alliance of Nashville, the ACC (American Craft Council) and NECEA.
She has served as a pre-event juror for “TACA Fall Fair,” was voted a “Best Visual Artist,” in Nashville Scene’s “Best of Nashville,” and has served as a judge and guest artist at numerous events and shows. In addition to the Metro Parks’ Centennial Art Center in Nashville, her works have appeared on exhibit at the Leu Art Gallery, Belmont University, Vanderbilt University Club, Madison Art Center, “Visual Arts Alliance of Nashville Studio Tour,” “Celebration at the Centennial Arts Center, Tennessee Dance Theater, Vaangard Gallery, “Women in History,” of the Metro Arts Commission, all in Nashville, and numerous other exhibits and galleries.
Her solo exhibits have been shown at Jules Restaurant, The Parthenon, Centennial Arts Center and other venues. Her commissioned works can be seen at Tennessee State University, the Entrikin Meditation Room, Pate-Bain Retirement Center, Fleetguard Corporation and the permanent collection of “Arts in the Airport,” at the Nashville International Airport.
Lucas reflects, “Growing up in Nashville, Tennessee, some of my earliest memories are of sitting on my father, William (Bill) Lucas’ knee while he studied and marked on blueprints of bridges or locks and dams, preparing for his next massive structural-steel project. I clearly recall him explaining that the large drawings represented multiple views of structural steel constructions, that the odd marks and symbols had much more meaning than they appeared and that they held the keys to how to visualize and build the structures. It all made perfect sense to me. On breaks from his blueprints, he would take up an always handy No. 2 pencil and yellow legal pad, and sketch little realistic drawings to both entertain and instruct me as I watched, transfixed.
“As a child, I spent countless hours drawing, painting and ‘making art and things. I thought such activity was simply what people ‘did.’ I vividly remember building an elaborate ‘Barbie’s tree house’ one summer from twigs and twine in an old Althea tree (but was so engaged that I rarely knew where my Barbie Doll happened to be). Often, at other times, I would gather neighborhood children around and teach them how to do their own little art projects that I had thought up. Looking back, it is easy for me to see how I - in my adult life - naturally became an artist and art teacher.
“It was during my senior year of high school (McGavock) that, as I developed as a young artist, I was encouraged to explore a variety if mediums and techniques (pottery, large-scale abstract sculpture, abstract painting) - without boundaries - by two amazing teachers, Bill Johnson and Bob Hollingsworth. I quickly moved further toward abstraction and have been using it as my primary means of expression since.
“My art production has been interrupted periodically by various injuries and subsequent surgeries during these, my adult years, but I always return to teaching once I recover sufficiently and create art when my health allows. I intend to remain a maker of and teacher of art for the rest of my life. Recently, I have started composing ‘New-Age’ instrumental music.”
Scott B. Hodes, director of visual arts for the Arts Council of Williamson County, has asked the guest speakers to share the experiences that have culminated in that person becoming a working artist in the community, such as background, history, choices and decisions, education and technique, work experience, and artistic and life influences.
The Arts Council of Williamson County (ACWC), a nonprofit 501(c)(3) service organization, is a catalyst for the enrichment of cultural life in the county by funding, promoting and expanding the arts.
Posted on: 9/24/2012