Artist of the year

  • By Theresa Goffredo Herald Writer
  • Friday, October 21, 2011 12:01am
  • LifeEverett

Sculptor Paul Vexler sometimes refers to what he does with wood as “subdividing space.”

His mastery of using reclaimed wood to make lightweight kinetic sculptures of intricate beauty and geometric wonder has been honed over many years.

Vexler’s knowledge of the history of shapes and patterns is as finely crafted as his sculptures. He will share both with visitors to the Schack Art Center on Thursday.

“Patterns are important to me. I am not sure why,” Vexler said in a prepared statement. “My eyes just keep going over the lines until it all makes sense.

“Sometimes the same pattern can be interpreted in more than one way. I like to let my mind toggle from one to the other.”

Vexler is being honored by the Schack Art Center — formerly the Arts Council of Snohomish County — as the 2011 Artist of the Year for his considerable accomplishments and contributions to the visual arts world.

A variety of his wood sculptures will be on exhibit in “Pattern, Shape, Structure,” which opens with a reception from 5 to 8 p.m. Thursday at the Schack Art Center, 2919 Hoyt Ave., Everett. Vexler will be there to meet people.

The show will be on display through Dec. 29.

Along with Vexler, arts educator and glass artist Janet Foley will be recognized as the recipient of the first annual Arts Advocate Award. She will show her artwork in “From This to That: Fractals,” which opens in conjunction with Vexler’s show Thursday.

Her exhibit will be up through Nov. 20.

Both artists mix science and math in their pieces, Schack gallery director Carie Collver said.

Vexler made the rank of artist of the year based on a variety of criteria, including his technical expertise, which stands out among his peers, Collver said.

“He has taken his art work to a whole different level,” Schack executive director Judy Tuohy said.

Vexler’s pieces hang in places throughout Snohomish County and elsewhere, with several at Everett Community College including “Loops, Knots & Spirals” at the college’s health and fitness center; the “Whitehorse Hall Helix,” at Whitehorse Hall; and “The Platonic Solids,” in the college’s Russell Day Gallery.

Vexler’s pieces take up space, sometimes lots of space, which Vexler said “as a sculptor, it is a great pleasure for me to see this form so big.”

“I hope that these sculptures stand on their own, without explanation. If they inspire study and analysis, that’s a bonus.”

Vexler, who lives in Snohomish, co-founded Quantum Windows & Doors and has been a general contractor, carpenter and art teacher.

Foley works in fused and kiln-forming glass and creates kaleidoscopic one-of-a-kind designs.

Foley’s work in public and private schools, youth-at-risk programs and adult education programs has earned her several honors and acknowledgements from the community, including being named the 2005 Arts Council of Snohomish County Volunteer of the Year.

Theresa Goffredo: 425-339-3424; goffredo@heraldnet.com.

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