November 19, 2008

Art in the Garden: NC Sculptor Joel Haas

When I received the photos of the work by talented North Carolina sculptor Joel Haas, I was stunned by the wonderful array of choices. I couldn’t select just one work of art to feature from Joel’s creations!

Joel’s whimsical dogs are guaranteed to make you smile. But, “Spot” and “Spot, Surprised” had me laughing out loud! My imagination started working. I can see “Spot” greeting visitors at the beginning of a path while “Spot, Surprised” is hidden around a corner. Spot is clearly a playful, fun and loyal companion. There are other pup-art sculptures in Joel’s portfolio. The “Daaaachshunds” are very long and very, very cute…drooling tongues and all!

There are funny, serious, romantic, and spiritually inspired sculptures. There are graceful gates and funny face gates; tiger benches and red “love” seats, trellises and arches and even a pig grill among his work. There are critters and creatures, dragons, angels and everything in between. There's so much to see, you must visit Tarheel Gallery and Joel Haas Studio to view additional pieces of Joel's work.

How do you decide what art will work for your garden? Joel says that good sculptors should guide you through the "planting" of art so that it interacts with your garden. His advice is, "The pieces should say something about the garden and the gardener while not being out of harmony with the spirit and style of the garden."

With his plant analogy, Joel says that some sculptures will work better for sun and others for shade. Just like plants, select sculpture for the color, form and purpose. Ground preparation is necessary to ensure that the sculpture is stable and level. An occasionally cleaning with a soft cloth and mild detergent is necessary to keep sculpture looking great.

To find sculptors in your area, Joel recommends contacting universities, art galleries or art councils. Always ask to see the portfolio of the sculptor to ensure the quality, materials and the inspiration fits the ambiance and style of your garden.

As for his sculptures, Joel says, “I just make stuff that transports me to a happier place where I can hum and whistle.”

Sculptures and Photos by Joel Haas Studio, Raleigh, NC. Story by Freda Cameron. Click photos for a larger view.

Freelance travel writer. My current fiction writing projects include a completed manuscript and several works in progress.

By the way, my name is pronounced fred-ah, not freed-ah. Thank you.

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