Colorful 3D Pieces by Honesdale Artist on Display at Hope Horn Gallery

January 25, 2017

Honesdale artist Ellen Silberlicht has long worked three-dimensionally, but her current sculptures represent a marriage of passions: fiber and clay. More specifically, she combines felted wool and raku pottery to, in her words, “tantalize the senses.”

Silberlicht’s colorful, imaginative forms, inspired by nature and personal experiences, will be on display at The University of Scranton’s Hope Horn Gallery from Friday, Feb. 3, through Friday, March 3, as part of “Raku Fiber Fusion: Sculptural Vessels by Ellen Silberlicht.”

Gallery director Darlene Miller-Lanning, Ph.D., who noted the show is part of the 2016-17 season’s lineup of solo exhibitions by regional artists, said the pieces are based on organic forms and tell a story about how “every cloud has a silver lining.”

After Silberlicht began chemotherapy for breast cancer, Dr. Miller-Lanning said, she was told she could no longer work in clay due to the danger of mold. That’s when she started to use felt, recognizing and embracing an opportunity rather than a setback.

“Breast cancer has such a stigma,” Silberlicht said. “But people can live, and people should know that. There are wonderful things that can happen. That’s my outlook on things.”

Silberlicht, who holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts from the Rochester Institute of Technology, has taught in the Honesdale School District for 15 years. She has attended ceramics and fiber seminars nationwide and recently exhibited at the Phoenix Gallery in New York City. Her work has been sold throughout the United States, Canada and the Middle East.

“The addition of glass beads, precious metal, etc., help create the magic in each piece,” Silberlicht said, explaining that combining her two favorite mediums “challenges my creativity, while stretching my imagination to see what adventures I will encounter.”

She writes on her website, “I am spellbound by the raku firing process, its surprises, and earthiness. … I feel as though I’ve opened an ancient door to my soul and have found my balance within the earth.”

The exhibit will open with a lecture by Silberlicht at 5 p.m. on Feb. 3, in the Pearn Auditorium of Brennan Hall. A public reception will immediately follow from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. in the Hope Horn Gallery, on the fourth floor of the University’s Hyland Hall. Both events are free of charge and open to the public. The exhibit will be on display, free of charge, from Feb. 3 to March 3 during gallery hours: noon until 4 p.m. Sunday through Friday and 6 p.m. until 8 p.m. on Wednesdays.

For more information, contact Dr. Miller-Lanning at 570-941-4214 or darlene.miller-lanning@scranton.edu. Or visit the Hope Horn Gallery website at www.scranton.edu/gallery.

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