By Susan DeMaggio
Australian-born sculptor Timothy Horn is the first artist-in-residence of the 2010-11 season at Lux Art Institute in Encinitas. By the time it ends in July, the season will have hosted five international artists working in public view.
During his stay, Horn, who now lives in New Mexico, is constructing a sculpture of nickel-plated bronze and blown glass for his "Tree of Heaven" series. Visitors can watch him work on his captivating project through Oct. 9 to "see art happen."
An exhibit by Horn, featuring large-scale pieces, including 18th-century inspired wall sconces made of transparent rubber and a Cinderella-like carriage and 300-pound chandelier both encrusted in honey-colored crystallized rock sugar, will be displayed at the institute through Oct. 30.
These items were featured in a exhibit at the de Young Museum in San Francisco that referenced the rags-to-riches story of sugar baron widow Alma Spreckels, sister-in-law of real estate magnate John Spreckels, one of San Diego's founding entrepreneurs.
Horn's work, according to critics, conveys fantasy and ornament, but is underpinned by craftsmanship and concept.
For his bejeweled wall pieces, a treelike structure is constructed in wax and then cast in bronze and nickel-plated. Lustrous large pearls made from mirrored blown glass add a final Baroque touch.
The other four artists slated to work in-residence include David Humphrey (Nov. 18-Dec. 4); Alison Saar (Feb. 3-March 5); Rick Stich (March 25-April 23); and Claudette Schreuders (May 28-June 18).
At a media luncheon to present this year's artists, Lux Director Reesey Shaw said the artists chosen are pulled from thousands whose work is chronicled in files the museum keeps.
"When an artist begins to look like he or she is on to something really wonderful, the dialogue begins," she said. "Our goal is to model creativity, to show our visitors how the work got here. Many artists tire of working in isolation and flourish while receiving public commentary, and many visitors like seeing the life of the living artist."
IF YOU GO
Lux Art Institute
1550 S. El Camino Real, Encinitas
1 to 5 p.m. Thursdays-Fridays; 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays
Adults $10 for two visits; free to those under age 21
Upcoming Lux events
Art, jewelry, wine, hors d'oeuvres, music and dance, 7 to 9:30 p.m. Sept. 22; $25 at the door. Katey Brunini's jewelry with Timothy Horn's sculpture.
11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Oct. 2 with studio tours, refreshments and music.
Lux @ Night:
7 to 9 p.m. Oct. 20, free evening of art, refreshments and music, for ages 21 and older.