Enter the Enchanted Garden, an article for the Jewish News


By Leslie Cohen Jeffreys

Inside a wall of honeysuckle, at the corner of 160th and Waterloo, you will find a secret sculpture garden, an enchanted setting for an upcoming art show. This magical place is the home of a pink elephant abstracted in steel, and a variety of welded steel geometric or organic forms. Some intensely colored, others in grey and black, rest beneath sloping trees. Jerry Schmidt is the creator of the metal sculptures and the designer of the garden. An iron worker by trade, Jerry Schmidt had a built-in mentor, his father, Fred Schmidt. The legacy to manipulate steel into elegant, sweeping sculptures, which his father passed down to him, the younger Schmidt is now teaching his own son, Tyler Schmidt. See Jerry Schmidt’s work at http://schmidtsculpture.com/.

Enter “The Enchanted Sculpture Garden” for a gateway to a multi-media experience. In addition to the metal sculptures of Jerry and Tyler Schmidt, the intriguing work of several local artists will be featured.

Rita DiCello will be showing her beautiful, abstracted flower paintings for the first time. Rita DiCello spent her youth on the outskirts of Rome, Italy, where she soaked up her heritage of the great masters by osmosis. Visiting Florence and adoring the work of Michaelangelo, she later received her BA in Art History and MA in Italian Baroque Art. Besides her love for painting, she is also an art appraiser. Her young daughter, Maria DiCello, helps her choose her colors in the studio. Mother and daughter will show their paintings together. View Rita DiCello’s work at http://fineartamerica.com/profiles/rita-dicello.html.

Through his travels, self-taught photographer, Chris Dixon captures breathtaking moments of natural beauty. A mechanical designer by trade, Chris Dixon uses EOS Series cameras, both digital and analog, to savor a precious point in time and reflect upon it. The fluttering of a butterfly’s wings, an insect crawling on a sunflower, a row of thick clouds framing the backdrop to a mountain range are transformed into art by the artist’s eye and his camera. With an artistic mother, Chris Dixon was inspired in his youth to choose a creative path. Chris Dixon’s photographs urge us to cultivate our sense of wonder about life. Enjoy Chris Dixon’s website at

Russian-born Alice Kiderman is a Cleveland sculptor, who has an MA in linguistics. She has received many awards in juried shows for her stone and bronze sculptures. Her exquisite forms have a variety of hues and textures, depending on the material used. Often she uses soapstone, sandstone, Portuguese pink marble or Carrara marble. The colors of the stone flow with the form. The bronzes often appear to have an exotic green patina. Alice Kiderman studied sculpture with Bruce Bilek, raku with Sarah Clague, and stone carving with Lothar Jobczyk. The sculptor’s goal is to express her deepest emotions in her work. Visit Alice Kiderman’s website at http://sculpturedimension.com/.

Shannon Marie, a full time professional artist, has the soul of a poet. She teaches creative writing and poetry to small children and the elderly. The bare essentials of a tree, which Shannon Marie believes reflect the human essence, are a major theme in her paintings. Passionate Pursuits is her line of dance, yoga, and running related whimsical paintings. She celebrates the deep meaning behind fairy tales by creating altered art, magic wands, shrines, and jewelry about them. This multi-talented artist pushes her ideas about trees into three dimensional wire sculpture paintings. Shannon Marie’s enchanting work can be seen at http://secretsaboutsecrets.blogspot.com/

Leslie Cohen Jeffreys was inspired by her mother, Shirley Skloff Shapiro, a portrait painter, who introduced her to modern art. Living by the ocean in the U.S. and France caused the artist to flow, pool, and glaze her abstract paintings, to offer a connection to beauty, healing, and harmony. It was a joy for her to study painting at the Cleveland Institute of Art, BFA, and Kent State University, MFA. Because of her fascination with color, she became a Master Teacher in The Michael Wilcox School of Color. Her themes include the Hebrew alphabet, womanhood, and nature. Currently, she is teaching painting at Ursuline College. The work of Leslie Cohen Jeffreys can be viewed at http://www.fineartamerica.com/profiles/leslie-cohen-jeffreys.html

Enter The Enchanted Garden promises to be a fascinating variety of local creativity. Saturday, 7/28/07, 11 a.m.-7 p.m., and Sunday, 7/29/07, 11a.m.-5 p.m. Corner of 160th and Waterloo.

( this article will be appearing in The Jewish News…Thank You Leslie! )

Posted in art