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Handcarved Creations

Louisville sculptor Duffy
to join others in Yew Dell display

‘Sculpture in the Gardens’
returns to Crestwood gallery

By Helen E. McKinney
Contributing Writer

CRESTWOOD, Ky. (May 2010) – William Duffy began to draw at an early age. He realized he had a special gift that he used to sketch Popeye cartoon characters and Marvel comic book figures, but it was his later love for stone that really inspired him, artistically.
“For as far back as I can remember, I was fascinated with drawing,” said Duffy, a Louisville native. Even though drawing became one of the greatest joys of his life, he wanted to know how his work would appear in a three-dimensional form.
He graduated from the Louisville School of Art with a degree in painting but soon turned to sculpture. “I love sculpture because it is tactile,” he said. “It draws the viewer into getting physically involved with the piece.”

Photo provided

These Katherine Hepburn pieces are
among the sculptures created by
Louisville’s William Duffy. His work
will be on display May 29 through
Aug. 1 at the “Sculpture in the
Garden” outdoor gallery exhibit
at Yew Dell Gardens in Crestwood, Ky.

Duffy will be participating in Yew Dell Garden’s third annual Sculpture in the Dell. An invitation-only opening reception will be held on Friday, May 28, for Yew Dell Garden members. Artists such as Duffy will be available to comment on their work. Hors de oeuvres will be served by Wiltshire Pantry and a cash bar will be available.
Opening weekend for the public is May 29-30. This sculpture show will run through Aug. 1. Regular admission fees for Yew Dell will be charged, and all artwork is for sale.
Last year, we sold 35 pieces, said Leah Whitmer, director of Marketing and Development for Yew Dell Gardens.
Duffy creates his artwork from various medium including stone, wood, steel and paper. His favorite medium is stone, “preferably alabaster, because it is a softer stone and easier to carve,” he said.
He often encourages viewers to touch his artwork, the exact opposite of what they are used to. His sculptures have rounded, angular, smooth and textured surfaces, inviting the viewer to think about them. He blends African, Egyptian, Oceanic, Eskimo and other zonal art imagery into his work to portray the human bond that exists between everyone.
“Sometimes it’s just the random shape of a rock that reminds me of something. At other times, the rock has a “feel” that beckons me to pull a specific form out of it. And then sometimes I begin with an idea or form that I want to create in the stone.”
Returning artists include David Caudill, Meg White, Don Lawler, Brad White, and Caren Cunningham. Among the new artists this year are Brian Newton, Debby Levine and Rowland Jones.

William Duffy

Duffy

The display will also feature five Don Lanham sculptures dating from 1946-1984. Lanham was a contemporary of Barney Bright, attended the Louisville School of Art, worked at the Louisville Speed Museum and was one of the individuals responsible for beginning the St. James Art Fair. Lanham died a few years ago, and Whitmer believes the pieces of his work on display at Yew Dell Gardens are some of the last pieces of his work that will be available.
Artwork will be displayed throughout the gardens in venues specifically chosen by the artists.
“This year’s show will include more than 70 pieces in a wide range of materials and styles,” Whitmer said. The event will feature more than 20 local and regional sculptors and glass artists. A jury comprised of local art experts aided in choosing which sculptures to include in the display.
Included will be artwork from two local high schools so that “art lovers in the area can get a first glimpse of the area’s up and coming artists,” Whitmer said. The work of The Louisville Glass Art Society will also be on exhibit.
As part of Yew Dell Garden’s master planning efforts and generous donors, a new structure will be unveiled that will serve as a visitor welcome center and museum-quality garden shop, said Whitmer. The shop will carry unique and useful products from local and regional artists and merchants.
The new center will officially open during the opening weekend of Sculpture in the Dell. In addition to welcoming and tracking visitors in a professional, efficient way, it will “improve our ability to develop our membership base and will eventually become a reliable source of earned income for Yew Dell,” Whitmer said.
Last year, Duffy had a small sculpture on display in the Gheens Barn. This year he will have for sale a white marble piece entitled “Morning Stretch II.”

• For more information contact Yew Dell Gardens at (502) 241-4788 or please visit www.YewDellGardens.org.

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