Southern Indiana Living

JAN-FEB 2018

Southern Indiana Living magazine is the exclusive publication of the region, offering readers a wide range of coverage on the people, places and events that make our area unlike any other. In SIL readers will find beautiful photography, encouraging s

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Jan/Feb 2018 • 43 most luminous appearance." The pristine whiteness of this marble is suited for this unique work, with its constant curvature and continuous flow, and its sense of spi- raling movement has a celestial quality. When asked how he comes up with ideas for his shapes, Beisler quotes Michelangelo: "Every block of stone has a statue inside it, and it is the task of the sculptor to discover it." He went on to explain that "once the crusty dead outer layers of the stone are removed, the grain will show you what the stone can do. Af- ter that, the form comes from my subcon- scious; I do not have any preconceived ideas." The woods around his studio have shaped his creative process. His piece "Woodland Fungus," with its base made of burl wood — an abnormal growth on some trees — looks like a giant speckled mushroom springing from the crevasses of a knobby log. His finds in the woods sometimes have a more direct relation- ship to his work. His sculpture "Bracing for a Storm" depicts a Native American wrapped in a buffalo robe. In the man's hand, Beisler placed a genuine arrowhed found in his woods. Beisler encourages visitors to touch the sculptures, which are smoothed with sandpaper and polished. The smoothness of the stone is surprisingly calming. Beisler grew up in Louisville. Ever since he was a small boy he was creating works of art: he painted, wrote stories, played the guitar and sang. During his time at Bellarmine University — study- ing under sculptor Bob Lockhart — he got hooked on stone carving. He has never looked back. From there he went on to apprentice under other stone carvers and bronze casters, including Barney Bright. His first public sculpture was done work- ing as an assistant to Paul Fields on the rhinoceros at the Louisville Zoo. Beisler has also created scenery and props for the Louisville Ballet, Stage One and the Ken- tucky Opera. His work has been shown in many galleries and he has won recogni- tion in many art competitions. The road to making a living as a sculptor is seldom easy. But Beisler chose to follow this path because of his natural talent and the ancient pull of hands to stone. "The stone speaks to me," he said. He also gives credit to his stubborn de- termination and to his supportive wife, Sandy Lee. • For more information on Beisler and his art, go to www.beislerart.com. A visit to Beisler's studio near Elizabeth reveals another side of this sculptor's work. Here, in a remote area on the Ohio River amid 100 acres of forests and wildlife including bobcats and bald eagles, Beisler has lived and worked for over 20 years.

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