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Henning sculpture artist thrilled to work with kids as part of show

Published 9:36am Tuesday, October 8, 2013 Updated 11:38am Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Mary Williams’ sculpture display at the Landmark Center in Henning will wrap up Thursday, but both Williams and Landmark Center director Sharon Thalmann hope it will not be the last time her work is featured.

“We loved having her and folks have really enjoyed her work,” said Thalmann, who added she would be very interested in having Williams lead a summer workshop at Landmark.

Williams works alternately with both clay and stone for her pieces. The display at the Landmark has featured about 15 large pieces and several other smaller ones, including some bowls.

The exhibit opened last month and there was a public reception on Sept. 25. At the reception, Williams met with art students from Henning School, which was one of her most fulfilling experiences of the exhibit.

“Some of the mature kids were interested and some of the younger kids just kind of blew around,” Williams said, laughing. “Showing them what can be done with clay is always fun.”

Williams did not make any of the bigger pieces exclusively for the display. Once she accepted Thalmann’s offer, Williams gave Thalmann free reign to choose whichever pieces she wanted for the series.

Two of Williams’ personal favorites on display are multiple-piece clay series. One of them, titled “Mountain Women,” is a stylistic set of four pieces that was inspired by a trip to Texas. During a car ride through the Texas hills, Williams saw a group of women, which she kept in her mind and used for the series.

Another series, “Norwegian Women,” is a more realistic set of four sculptures depicting Williams’ view of women from the area. This series took her about two months to complete, but she said there is no set timeframe for how long pieces will take.

“Sometimes I can whip out a piece in a day and sometimes it takes me all summer,” Williams said.

The series will end its run on Thursday. So far, Thalmann said there have been over 200 visitors to Landmark to see Williams’ work.

Williams is currently working on another series, this one based on angels. Even though it was her work on display, The Landmark series was important to her for more than just personal reasons.

“It’s an honor to be asked because there are so many good artists around,” Williams said. “The more you can bring culture and art into the community, that’s just great.”

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