Four artists with four very different means of expression show their work until December 17 at the San Antonio Art League.  Sallie Stanley Carter’s contemporary portraits, Dona LeCrone Walston’s interpretations of mountains and water, and energetic octogenarian Lee Ricks’ glowing transparent watercolors offer something for every art lover.  But fiber artists Rachel Edwards Ridder gets special attention for her unusual creations, something you don’t see in every gallery.

Like Lee Ricks, Ridder is in her 80s, but you wouldn’t guess it by looking at her quirky, contemporary take on non-traditional materials and construction.  One of her 3-D assemblages features two stiletto-heeled shoes embellished with, among other things, orange metal cartridge casings that once held the nails used to build her studio. 

The artist says, “The shoes came from a friend’s bridal shop, and they began speaking to me.  I wrote stories, words and poems about them and the steps we take in life.  I printed these pages, airbrushed and cut them to fit the innersoles.  I stitched the edges with metallic threads and used pliers to pull the needle through the holes.  When I told my daughter what I was working on, she said the title must be ‘Sole Mates’.”

Rachel collects and recycles “stuff.”  She is self-taught in many areas, but has studied with local, regional and internationally recognized artists including the Textile Fiber Forum in Australia.  She combines the knowledge of all these techniques in creating art quilts, garments/sculptures/jewelry and mixed media that have been exhibited locally, nationally and internationally.

Her work may be the most unusual in the Art League’s Members Invitational exhibit, but all of the artists inspire in their own individual way.  Whether your taste is for Sallie Stanley Carter’s rodeo cowgirl, Dona Walston’s fused glass and majestic mountains, Lee Ricks’ sparkling watercolors, or – yes – Rachel Edwards Ridder’s fine Sole Mates, you’ll enjoy this exhibit.

The San Antonio Art League & Museum is located at 130 King William Street.  Hours are 10:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m., Tuesday through Saturday, admission is always free.  For more information, visit saalm.org.

- Lyn Belisle, President, SAALM