Callejas showcase at Hands Gallery
Hands Gallery in downtown Boone is featuring the newest works
from clay artist and painter Chrissie Callejas.
Callejas has been a resident of Watauga County since 1968, where she attended Appalachian State University. She started her membership at Hands as a fiber artist in 1976 and has since evolved to create clay work and acrylic paintings.
According to Hands, Callejas has created a gaggle of “outrageous clay ladies,” each with a larger-than-life personality. Her sculptures can be as high as two or three feet and are dressed with mosaic accents and found object accouterments.
All of Callejas’ sculptures are made of stoneware clay, and many are fired five to six times, each time embellished with more and more layers of color and detail. The finishing touches are of found objects that Callejas has acquired over the years. A regular at Foley’s auction house, Callejas is always on the lookout for interesting accents that could find their way into her creations.
Callejas starts her projects with little or no preconceived notion of what the outcome will be. Beginning with a basic shape, the sculpture suggests what it wants to turn into, she said, adding, “If it looks like a mermaid on a pig, then I make it a mermaid on a pig.”
In addition to her female sculptures, Callejas also has assembled a village of vibrant, cockeyed houses of many shapes and sizes, as well as a cornucopia of large and small fruits that are said to blend familiarity with an otherworldly quality.
Callejas will be opening at Hands’ First Friday celebration on Sept. 6, from 6 to 8 p.m. Hands Gallery is located at 543 W. King St. in downtown Boone.
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