Casselberry’s Tribute to the Masters highlights local artwork
Published: Wednesday, January 11, 2012
Updated: Wednesday, January 11, 2012 17:01
The Orlando community can treat itself to the works of modern-day Michelangelos at a new exhibit in Casselberry City Hall.
The paintings and sculptures of Jóhann Eyfells, 88, Cecil Herring, 80, and Henry Berkowitz, 78, are displayed in the lobby and throughout the building. The exhibit is open to the public and free of charge. All of the artwork presented at the exhibit is available for purchase.
Recreation coordinator Linda Moore heads the exhibit and expresses the importance of the community cultivating these artists.
"They are truly ahead of their time, and it is important to pay tribute to them now instead of after they have passed," Moore said.
Eyfells' sculptures, one of which is displayed at the entrance of the Casselberry City Hall lobby, include an array of heavy metals that have been melted and shaped into various forms. The Difference as Essence theme in his artwork was inspired by the many creative personalities in his life.
Eyfells taught sculpture at UCF for 30 years before his retirement in 1999. Although Eyfells is known in the UCF community as a professor, he considers himself an artist who teaches, rather than the other way around.
The artist now lives in Texas and is working on his next piece by compiling rocks and spiral structures made of iron and Hill Country rocks.
"I believe I am doing my best work now," Eyfells said.
Eyfells is not the only sculptor in the exhibit; Herring, a former student of Eyfells, has paintings on display, and her Spacescapes sculpture hangs from the ceiling. Her Moon Dog bronze sculpture is displayed on the second floor of the City Hall.
Herring is a 1986 UCF alumni and a mother of four. She said that balancing her work with her family has always been a challenge and that the world has made being an artist a struggle, but that she wouldn't change a thing because she loves making art.
"I think the world should accept the artist and give us more opportunity and not be so hard on us," Herring said.
Herring lives in Deltona and no longer makes sculptures because of the rigorous labor and heavy lifting required, but she still paints.
As you walk through the exhibit, you'll see various paintings by Berkowitz.
Berkowitz's paintings are abstract arrays of color made cohesive by stripes and borders around and inside the paintings. Berkowitz describes his paintings as "unrecognizable."
The Brooklyn native originally had plans to become an ichthyologist and to paint saltwater fish, but he decided to go in a different direction after serving in the Navy and attending art school.
He said to himself, "Let me do something that I'm creating, not that nature is creating." This concept of sheer originality is the thesis behind his work.
These days, Berkowitz has trouble walking and lives in a Melbourne nursing home; he does not paint anymore.
"I simply don't have it in me anymore," he said.
Berkowitz considers himself very lucky to have earned a name as an artist within his own time.
The exhibit is available for viewing Monday through Thursday from 7 a.m. until 6 p.m. through Feb. 8.
"These three artists have paved the way to really make art grow," Moore said. "They were never scared about trying new things; they always pushed the limits."