MANATEE -- The Creative Arts Association of Lakewood Ranch always manages to pack a lot of diversity into its art shows, everything from paintings to sculptures to jewelry and lantern makers.
The 10th annual Art Show and Sale from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday at Lakewood Ranch Town Hall will be no different.
For instance, take Ron Weismehl, a wood sculptor from University Place who has a studio in Bradenton’s Village of the Arts, and Silvia Engel of Lakewood Ranch, who makes jewelry from dichroic glass, a product of space age research.
The dichroic glass yields brilliant colors. It seems to shimmer and the effect is mesmerizing. Engel uses the glass in jewelry, as well as wine bottle stoppers.
She also makes jewelry from less exotic materials, such as beer bottles.
Engel has worked as an artist full time since 2004.
Weismehl began working in wood in the 1960s, but his focus was on the corporate world where he worked as an executive for 35 years.
He works with basswood, also called linden, a hard wood known for its straight grain that “takes a knife of chisel easily.”
Among his works are relief carvings, and free-standing pieces that reflect Biblical or Judaic themes, current events, and a liberal dose of humor as well.
One of his works, “American Totem,” contains carvings of Elvis Presley, Michael Jordan and Bill Gates.
Among his most complex works is “The Cup of Miriam,” named after the older sister of Moses and Aaron, who led the enslaved Israelites out of Egypt.
Along the way, he has been fortunate to work with master wood carvers and learn how to expertly use a chisel and mallet.
“Most of the time the floor is covered in chips,” Weismehl said of his studio.
Carving is an art of knowing what to take away, he said, holding a perfectly smooth cube of basswood.
“What’s exciting about the Creative Arts Association is that a guy like me can fit in,” he said.
The public is invited to Saturday’s show. Admission is free.
James A. Jones Jr., East Manatee editor, can be contacted at 941-745-7021.