A Brush with Art

Artists captivate with wind and light


The San Diego Visual Arts Network will feature winners of the 2012 San Diego Art Prize award at the Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair in its new Balboa Park location during the weekend of Sept. 6 through Sept. 9.The prestigious annual award spotlights pairings of selected established and emerging San Diego artists worthy of recognition. Jeffery Laudenslager and Deanne Sabeck, both residents of Encinitas, are among this year’s four honored artists.

San Diego native Jeffery Laudenslager is a self-taught artist who is internationally recognized for his kinetic metal sculptures. The former member of San Diego’s Public Art Advisory committee is well known for creating elegantly simple and physically harmonious sculptures that he describes as “Tai-chi in the poetry of metal.”

La Jolla gallery owner Scott White recently wrote of Laudenslager’s work, “His ability to manipulate and animate metals, both static and kinetic, demonstrates Jeffery’s mastery of geometry and physics. His decision to use lightweight steel and titanium allows each structure to move in the most organic way possible.”

Laudenslager says of his creative process, “Throughout my career I have constantly sought the most economical means at my disposal to convey my ideas. The reductive nature of my effort has made for an understated result true to my nature.” It is this understated elegance and precision, along with the gracefully balanced movement of his work that viewers find captivating.

In 1999 Laudenslager received a coveted Orchid Award for his 34-foot high kinetic sculpture “Archimage,” which overlooks Interstate 5 at Carmel Valley Road. His work can also be seen on the La Jolla and Encinitas campuses of Scripps Memorial Hospital. He describes his sculpture “Ripples,” currently on exhibit in the San Diego Botanic Garden, as “Zen simple — three metal circles interact with wind and each other — like ripples in a quiet pond of repose.”

Exhibiting in international art venues since 1996, Laudenslager has over 40 solo exhibitions to his credit. His sculptures can be found in corporate and public collections throughout America and in private collections in Europe and Asia.

In spite of his successes, Laudenslager is quick to acknowledge a mutual mentorship with Deanne Sabeck, his partner and muse of twenty years. Sabeck says, “We are very emotionally and psychically bonded, so much so that we often think the same thing at the same time. Jeffery says I plant ideas in his head; I say he plants them in mine.”

Through the years, the two artists have collaborated on several projects together, including an installation at the San Diego International Airport, which was part of a group Orchid Award in 1998.

Sabeck, who grew up in Phoenix and earned her BFA degree in painting and drawing from Arizona State University, began a career in architectural stained glass in 1973. Continuing her studies at learning centers such as the Pilchuck Glass School, she created many large-scale architectural glass installations in Phoenix and Sedona before relocating to Encinitas in 1990.

Sabeck found the light reflections from stained glass windows more fascinating than the windows themselves, so was captivated by the possibilities when she began working with dichroic glass. She says, “I was intrigued with the fact that I could create a very large impact with a very tiny amount of physical material,” and thus her signature “Light Sculptures” were born. She muses, “I love the idea of working with the light spectrum itself so directly, as it is really the essence of life.”

Sabeck describes her work, of which she has personally developed the concepts and processes, as “ephemeral, mysterious and always changing, with a life of it’s own.” Her artistic goal is that viewers feel a sense of awe and question the idea of a fixed reality versus perceptions. Regarding her work that changes radically under various light conditions, she says, “I find that what our ideas of reality are can be seen many different ways from different perspectives.”

Featured in San Diego Home and Garden Magazine as one of the “Stars of San Diego” for 2010, Sabeck is co-owner and artist at Kuivato Gallery in Sedona, Arizona. Her work can be seen currently at L Street Fine Art in San Diego’s Gaslamp Quarter through Oct. 15, as well as at the San Diego International Airport, Pacific Station in Encinitas, and Pacifica Del Mar. Her work is shown in galleries and held in collections across the country. Sabeck adds on a humorous note that you can see the cast glass window she created for Mel Gibson’s home in Costa Rica if you are ever lucky enough to get an invitation from the world-famous celebrity.

The work of Deanne Sabeck and Jeffery Laudenslager will be on exhibit at the San Diego Visual Arts Network booth at the Art San Diego Contemporary Art Fair in Balboa Park, starting Sept. 6.

Visit deannesabeck.com and Laudenslagersculpture.com.

Preproduction photo of a scene from Palomar College's upcoming production of 'Sila'. Photo courtesy of Ken Jacques PhotgraphyBethany NashZagö Art Gallery Director Ethan Wayne sitting at his desk on Nov. 27 in the Solana Beach Design District. Photo by Bethany NashRichard Bumann demonstrates one of the Bumann Ranch’s many old farming implements, used to separate the grains of a crop from the straw. Photo by Lexy Brodt


John Laudenslager September 1, 2012 at 4:14 pm

I know Jeff and Deanne. OK, he’s my brother. I probably wouldn’t comment except that I think Kay Colvin, whoever she is, nicely captured the essence of Jeff’s and Deanne’s artistic work of many years – Jeff’s minimalist way with metal shapes that move surprisingly, and Deanne’s musical way with color and reflections. I gotta applaud all three.

Markus Unterberg September 1, 2012 at 8:06 pm

Nice to hear from and about two of California’s most talented artisans!

Francine Cooper September 2, 2012 at 12:22 pm

My husband and I just bought our second Laudenslager. The first is work he did in the late 1980s, a 9 ft. tall metal piece that looks entirely three dimensional and is only partly so. The new work is a kinetic sculpture that speaks to the earlier work and with its natural movement is entirely enthralling…Thank you Jeffrey!

Debby Coles-Dobay, Public Art Administrator September 5, 2012 at 5:53 am

Wonderful article about Jeffery and Deanne!

We are honored to have Jeffery participate in the February 8-10, 2013 International Kinetic Art Exhibit and Symposium in Boynton Beach, Florida.


Visit the web site to see his kinetic artwork that will be installed September 27, 2012!

Debby Coles-Dobay Public Art Administrator

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