Friday, August 3, 2001 - THE SEWANEE MOUNTAIN MESSENGER
McGee and Stephenson Present "Bios Metallica"
The public is cordially invited to the opening reception of "Bios Metallica" to be held at Shenanigan's Gallery on Sunday, Sept 2, from 3 to 5 p.m. The reception will celebrate the work in metal of Sanford McGee and Jeanie Stephenson, and treats from the biosphere will be provided.
These two local artists bring to their very different work somewhat similar backgrounds. Both were trained in biology, both taught science at the high school level, and both now are artists working with metals. Their work covers the biological spectrum, with McGee focusing on botanical themes and Stephenson primarily interested in the zoological aspects.
McGee's work in copper stems from a lifelong interest in nature and art. Eighteen years of teaching biology and studies with masters' of clay and metal at Arrowmont and the Appalachian Center for Crafts, combined with his ongoing sculptural experience in building an "off the grid" home, have led Sanford to his current works. Initially created as a frieze for the exterior of his home, his work has evolved into pieces adaptable for all aspects of the home environment and garden. Interested in finding a way of bringing some degree of permanency to the experience of nature, McGee stumbled upon a chemical process of etching natural objects, such as flowers and leaves, onto the copper. The resulting images provide an intimate representation of the exploration of nature and a sense of place.
Stephenson's love both of nature and of the process of creating sculptures in bronze began during her student years as a Biology major at Sewanee. After spending several years in graduate school, traveling around the world and teaching, she returned to her early loves and began sculpting again. Unlike most sculptors who send their works to commercial foundries to be cast, Stephenson does all her own metal work, using the ancient process known as "cire perdue" or "lost wax."
The exhibition of their works will be featured in Shenanigan's throughout the month of September. The gallery exhibits the work of 23 regional artists. It is open during Shenanigan's restaurant business hours, 11:30 a.m. to 11:30 p.m., Monday-Saturday, and until 9 p.m. on Sundays.