Sidonie Villere

One of my favorite New Orleans artists is Sidonie Villere. I first met Sidonie when she came to my shop to purchase a mirror for the new home she was moving into when she was moving back to New Orleans a few years ago. At the time, I was not familiar with her art. Later, when I first saw her pieces in Jonathan Ferrara's gallery, I was moved by how much of her personality and her soul is expressed in her amazing artwork.

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Sidonie states that her work is "better understood by looking than by reading or describing." I think she's right on because her pieces, both sculpture and painting, and somewhere in between and encompassing both are best experienced in person.

Their emotion and intuition seeps into the viewer's soul, describing and implying  a feeling of the passage  from the dawn of time to the present. They seem to suggest the basics of human experience and at the same time, complex human emotions.

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I love her use of hand shaped clay forms  to which she  applies paints, waxes and metallic leaf. Her forms are primitive and her surfaces are refined, creating a dramatic tension which gives her pieces a heart- throbbing feeling of the beauty and the rawness of our existence. They satisfy the soul as well as the eye.

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Sidonie says that she takes her inspiration from geological forms and uses them as a metaphor for expressing human emotions.

When looking at these sculptural pieces, one can almost feel how the clay must have felt in the artist's hand, their tactile impression is so strong.

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Her two dimensional works also vibrate with sensual texture  and portray a tension between the emotions associated with  both the epic and the personal.

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Using the geological metaphor, Sidonie describes the passage of time through the ages and suggests the passing emotions inherent in human life.

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Sidonie has created her own language for expressing her emotions through her artistic medium. Her work is intensely personal and yet it speaks to the basic nature in all of us. In the artist's own words, "I am going after the empathetic rather than the learned response." I think she achieves this, and therefore her work reaches the viewer.

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The artist at work in her New Orleans studio.

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I am proud to say that Sidonie Villere was born right here in New Orleans, and she received her BFA in ceramics at Newcomb College. She earned her MFA at the University of Massachusetts. Her work can be found in the New Orleans Museum of Art and the Jefferson Parish Courthouse and of course at the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery.

This active and busy artist has also curated a "Clay: A Compelling Expression" at the Jonathan Ferrara Gallery and several group shows for the National Council on the Education for the Ceramic Arts. And she even finds time to teach art at the Louise Mc Gehee School.

Read more about Sidonie and her work at her website and at Jonathan Ferrara's website, too.




I am the owner of Julie Neill Designs in New Orleans where we create beautiful custom lighting. This blog is my love letter to the unique people, places and happenings which make New Orleans the amazing place it is.


Please visit my website to learn more about my lighting and our fabulous shop on Magazine Street.

www.julieneill.com

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