Nature takes over rest of artist’s wall
Three and a half years ago, Westsider Sherry Bennett revealed a colorful nature scene she'd sculpted with fired-clay tiles. It was and is quite visible - her house being
located next to the Old Colorado City Library on West Pikes Peak Avenue and the tiles being set on the concrete-block wall east of the gate in front of her house.
Quietly, ever since then, in between other jobs, she's been working on new tiles for the wall on the west side of the gate.
Last week she brought that work out from her studio. Now her entire wall is a nature scene for everyone to see.
The new side is a little more of a close-up, including forest animals among aspen trees in springtime and the heads of a raccoon and deer in full relief. "I tried to put in more of the wildlife that I saw in the woods," said Bennett, who uses mountain hiking experiences with her husband Robert for inspiration.
Other parts of the wall are also intentionally less flat. She said the idea is to provide a tactile experience. "If people don't have sight, they can feel what we're looking at," she said.
Bennett, whose clay-working style is largely self-taught, had initially been worried three and a half years ago about how her neighbors would respond when she adorned her first wall. Happily, the feedback was positive. But the praise she received was soon followed by "When are you going to do the other side?" she recalled with a wry smile. So when she set out the new tiles last week, what she heard was, "Oh my God, you're finally doing it."
The work is not quite final. Grouting is still required between the tile slabs, she wants to landscape in front of the wall, and a narrow vertical piece of block remains at the far west end of the wall.
But all in all, looking at the new tiles on display, the self-critical artist allowed herself a small statement of satisfaction: "It turned out better than I expected."
Westside Pioneer article