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A Partnership Cast In Bronze

by Mickey Goodman

An excerpt from the article:
These Atlanta artists share the secrets of sculpting a beautiful life.

In a sunlit north Atlanta studio, a life-size young boy captured in clay strides toward the doorway, his hair tousled and socks askew. Nearby, two more immortalized children smile from a makeshift wall, while miniature ballerinas in various stages of completion stand watch. Each piece of art is the result of a creative collaboration between sculptors Teena Stern and Don Haugen, whose works and lives are as intertwined as the English ivy trailing through their lush garden.

"When you look at most figurative sculptures, you see no life; in Don's and Teena's you see life," says Mary Portera, director of the River Gallery in Chattanooga. She first met Teena and Don in 1993 when they were artists-in-residence at the Association of Visual Artists. Mary was so impressed with the sculptors' talent that she asked them to use her husband, Charles, as a model. "They are tremendous artists and people," she says.

Art is generally a solitary endeavor, and Teen and Don readily admit that the road to artistic collaboration is not always easy. He prefers realism; Teena, impressionism. He likes classical music while he works; she fancies New Age. "Early in the process we got at it toe to toe, especially about the gesture, that elusive element that brings the figure to life," says Teena. "I usually win because I'm a dirty fighter, but Don's the best portrait artist around......."

President, Southeast Chapter, The American Society of Journalists and Authors (ASJA)
Copyright © Mickey Goodman, Freelance Writer. All rights reserved.

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