Area Sculptor Brings New Classes to Artists League
Noted area sculptor Dedi McHam is bringing a new medium to the Artists League of the Sandhills.
She will be teaching two classes in sculpting next month.
But instruction by this highly talented and experienced local artist is not the only reason to participate in these classes.
I first "met" Dedi McHam months ago when I first saw Linda Bruening's hauntingly beautiful portrait "Lovely Lady."
McHam's sparkling eyes and quiet smile just draw you to the portrait and leave you wishing you knew her.
So it was a great delight when she opened the door to her home and I met - for real - the lovely lady herself.
Her art-filled home contains paintings by well-known and regarded artists Peter Howell, Frank Pierce, Claudia Coleman and Mary O'Malley.
And of course her own completed and in-progress sculptures are visible.
Fresh tea was brewing and some of her pets came out to investigate the visitor.
Her stories quickly paint a picture of a truly Renaissance woman. While a native and (for most of her life) resident of the Sandhills, over the years she studied veterinary medicine, nursing, written for the equestrian magazine Spur, painted, written poetry, worked in wax (until she pulled her fingernails off), designed jewelry, traveled throughout the world and - of course - sculpted.
Once she tried sculpting 30 to 35 years ago, McHam says, she knew: "This is who I'm supposed to be."
The art form marries the things she loves - horses and clay. This is most evident in the head of a horse displayed in the corner of her living room - that of her favorite horse, Serka. Tucked beneath the base is a lock of Serka's mane. A pair of Serka's first horseshoes leans against the sculpture.
McHam's work has been featured an unprecedented three times on the cover of The Chronicle of the Horse. She had a solo exhibit at the Campbell House and received several awards at the Moore County Arts Festival. Commissions include sculpture for the 90th birthday of the late Virginia "Ginny" Moss, trophies for the Charlotte Steeplechase and the perpetual trophy for the Stoneybrook Steeplechase.
Now she brings her love of clay, skills and insights to art students of the Sandhills.
"The classes will help students get excited about the feel of clay and its forgiving nature," says McHam.
Students will learn some theory and, with her help, create their own simple sculpture. She will discuss some famous sculptors, and why they are considered masters.
But these classes are not only for those wishing to get their hands into the clay. They are also of great value for the two-dimensional artist, in that some experience in sculpting improves the ability to "see around" an object, giving new dimension to paintings and drawings.
Dedi McHam loves people that she terms "warm-fuzzy." Maybe that's because she is. She emanates an aura of warmth that comes across in all she does.
As an artist, she celebrates the art and artistic inspiration in others.
McHam will be leading her classes Feb. 9-11 (Sculpting Part I) and Feb. 16-18 (Part II). There is a fee, and registration is required.
Classes will be held at the Artists League of the Sandhills, 129 Exchange St., in the historic railroad warehouse building in Aberdeen.
To register, contact the office at (910) 944-3979. Office hours are from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday.
McHam's works are on display during the Instructors Show that continues in the League Gallery through Jan. 29. Gallery hours are noon to 3 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
For further information, visit www.artistleague.org.
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