Cecilia H Calderon. Works in Copper at Blue Sage Gallery
[San Juan Silver Stage | May 2021 | Debra Muzikar, Director, Blue Sage Center for the Arts]
Cecilia Calderon has been in the art field for over 40 years. She was born and raised in Mexico City, Mexico, where she studied graphic design and started her own stained glass and sculpture studio.
In 1995 she moved with her family to Austin, Texas, where she continued with her studio doing extensive commission work for architects, designers, and private clients. There she learned the art of copper and fell in love with it.
In 2006 Calderon moved to Scottsdale, Arizona, where she experimented with different techniques on copper patinas and oils, developing a new style which incorporated textiles.
Following her heart, in 2020 she moved to Paonia, Colorado to be near her baby grandsons and be inspired by the area’ energy and magnificent mountains.
“I have always been fascinated by color,” she said. “The best gift I have received in my life was a big box of Crayola Crayons brought to me by an aunt from the US when I was about 7 years old. I couldn’t believe so many colors existed, I almost wanted to eat them.” Since then, Calderon has become obsessed by color. “I really started paying attention to my surroundings.”
Having come from Mexico and from a culture with so much color, Calderon started trying different mediums to satisfy her creative hunger. “When I discovered stained glass, I loved the variety of color and textures of the art glass and how I could ‘paint with light’.” After many years of working with glass, she began experimenting with texture and found herself adding all kinds of different materials to make her my pieces feel more organic.
In her search for new art material, Calderon eventually discovered copper. She was very attracted to the whole process of working with copper, shaping it and using different substances to create incredible patinas and learning to understand the way nature, temperature, and humidity play a big part in its artistic outcome.
After a lifetime as an artist, Calderon realizes that her journey is to keep experimenting and trusting that by introducing new mediums, her art becomes more interesting and better reflects her voice, as she, too, continues to evolve.
Calderon’s latest creations are tapestries made of a combination of fabric, rope, oil paints, copper, gemstones, beads, and other natural materials. Each piece has an ancient yet abstract quality, and at the same time representing animals and plants, reflecting “my concern and love of nature and our deepest roots.” On her quest to add more and more texture to her work, Calderon feels it’s like her own yearning to understand and work with the infinite complexities of nature and her own psyche.
“It is exciting to start a new piece with a basic idea and then just watch as as it develops and takes a life of its own,” she said. “I just trust that at the end it will be better than what I would have imagined if [I hadn’t] just let it flow.”
Calderon finds copper a “noble and fascinating” material. “Working with it, I have found the perfect medium to express my connection to nature, the ultimate artist. My art consists of trusting the alliance between copper and my inner voice and allowing it [that alliance] to guide my hands [and allow me] to manifest the ideas that come from within.”
Cecilia Calderon’s “Works in Copper” is on exhibit at the Blue Sage Center for the Arts through May 22nd. Her art can also be viewed at her web site, can be seen at www.ceciliahcalderon.com.