Thursday, August 19, 2010

Vigall Arts, Barbara Wells-Roberts and Arts Contemporary

Ric, Tim, and Molly Vigallon
This year, there will be a number of venues on the tour where you will get to see several different artists who are showing together.  One venue where you get more "bang for your buck" is the studio of Vigall Arts.  The metal art created by the Vigallons is distinctive.  The Vigallons work as a contemporary artisan workshop.  Ric Vigallon, his brother, Tim, and his daughter Molly all contribute to the creation of the distinctive metal sculptures that Vigall Arts is renowned for.  Ric's wife Susan is primarily the business manager, keeping track of the books, upcoming shows, and correspondence.   It is not often that you see a family working together as a team, and it is something that sets the Vigallons apart.
The beautiful colors and patinas of Vigall Art.

The metal sculptures made by the Vigallons are primarily representational sculptures.  The specialty of the studio is wildlife, especially aquatic wildlife.  The colors, textures and patinas are what really sets these metal pieces apart.  The sculptures are all created from Stainless steel and aluminum.  Dyes and acid are used to create distinctive finishes that gleam in the sunshine.  Most of the sculptures are hanging sculptures that can be displayed outside, where the translucent qualities of the colors can be fully appreciated.

The Vigallons work seven days a week.  They truly love what they do, and are happiest working for themselves.  They travel throughout California, Nevada and Arizona, selling their art and doing commissions to make their living.  Ric Vigallon has been doing his metal sculpture professionally for about 16 years.   Prior to working as an artist, he worked in a sheet metal fabrication shop, where they made metal casing for computer cases, medical equipment and the like.  When he was laid off from the fabrication shop, it was a blessing in disguise, because that is when he first began working for himself, making metal sculpture. 

When you visit the Vigallons' studio during the art tours, you will probably have a chance to see demonstrations of some of the processes used in the creation of one of these special sculptures.  One of the things that makes the Open Studio Art Tours so special is the opportunity it presents for us to have an insider's look at how and where art is created.  This is something that no other art venue offers.    
Ric Vigallon using a plasma cutter to cut out a seahorse.
Molly, polishing the surface.
Treating the surface with dye.  (I can't remember whose hand this is - Tim?  Is that you?)
Barbara Wells-Roberts
Barbara Wells-Roberts, holding one of her handmade quilts.
Wells-Roberts is a photographer and a quilter, but her creative interests also include jewelry-making, painting, and sculpture.  She was an art major in college, and taught art for many years before she and her husband retired in the desert.  Now she finally has the time to pursue the things that have always interested her.  Barbara's quilts are mostly her original designs, although she does sew some of the more traditional patterns.  She has sewn since she was a child.  Her mother taught her to sew.  Now she is an award-winning quilter, creating quilts that are considered "innovative quilts."   In her quilting, as well as in her photography, it is color that is exciting for her.  She enjoys exploring color and the way the different colors interact.  Intense color especially motivates her.

Wells-Roberts' photographs are primarily photographs of the desert and photography of China.  The photographs of China were mostly taken when her husband worked in China.  They lived there for three years.  She has been taking photographs all her life.  She sells notecards of her photographs at Purple Agave in Morongo Valley.
Young Coyote by Wells-Roberts

Arts Contemporary

Arts Contemporary is representing the work of two artists,  William Allex and Vida Allex.  Their son, Chris, wanted a chance to show the art of his parents, who are now deceased.

William Allex, an artist who worked primarily in oil, grew up in Philedelphia.  The influence of abstract expressionism is evident in his paintings, which have strong landscape and figurative elements.  William earned a BFA and MFA from the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts/University of Pennsylvania, and has work in the collections of General Motors, Century Paramount Hotel and even Kaiser Foundation.  Both William and Vida Allex have had their work exhibited widely in New York and California.  They worked on their art independently, but frequently exhibited together.   They are both represented by Abney Galleries in New York City.
Vida Allex worked in acrylic painting, poetry and wood sculpture.  She was born in New York City and was also influenced by the Abstract Expressionists.  Vida was self taught.  She was involved in theosophy and mysticism, and her art is a reflection of this.  Her intent with the sculpture was to define man in relation to the universe.  Chris Allex hopes to have a book of Vida's award-winning poetry ready in time for the October Art Tours.   William and Vida Allex lived in Apple Valley for over twenty-five years.   There will not be originals for sale during the Art Tours, however, limited prints of the work of these two prestigious artists will be available.

This group of artists at Vigall Arts will be showing the first weekend of the Art Tours, October 23rd and 24th from 9 to 5 pm.  

written by Karine Swenson

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