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Visionary Women
Art Talk - Saturdays, 2-4pm
Casa Europa

Mar. 19, 2023

Ana Thiel

Ana Thiel is an internationally known sculptor who has taken her glass and mixed media creations to spheres where paradox and opposites find common ground.

In the exhibition titled "What Remains", which, with the work of five other women artists, form together the exposition "Visionaries", currently showing at the Casa de Europa, she has now taken items that have been left over or abandoned after having had a life, either in Nature, or as objects that had a useful presence in somebody's existence.

"Like Andy Goldsworthy, like Anselm Kiefer, ... Ana Thiel is reminding us to love the world, no matter how ephemeral or damaged by time. We may feel unsettled or even broken-hearted by her works, but we will most certainly feel transformed by them."
- Elizabeth Rosner, author, USA

Leaves that fell from trees now are present, preserved between layers of wax and resin, as are skeletons of cactus or maguey that bring in the presence of Nature.

Broken glasses and wine glasses are now safely tucked into a vertical glass tube to show how there is still beauty even if they are not useful any more.

Shredded paper, ashes from documents and photographs, clothing items were all part of the life of a close person who passed away and left all these material traces behind.

"Her works of art remind us of a Saga which speaks to us about the spiritual greatness of human beings who, in spite of any negativity, even abject horror, have put life above all else as well as the beauty which it has to offer."
- Ingrid Suckaer, art critic, Mexico

Her work ranges from individual sculptures to oeuvres for outdoor as well as indoor environments. They draw us into reflection and awaken our senses. Her sculptures have traveled extensively through exhibitions in different continents. Thiel has received numerous prizes and awards and has been invited as a resident artist in many countries. Her work is represented in museums as well as public and private collections around the world.

"Thiel's work does not bemoan the dangers that surround us: she prefers to create a space of beauty. That is true sincerity, and it makes for stunning sculpture."
- William Warmus, author, critic, curator


Wendy Moyer

Mexico-based artist, Wendy Moyer has finely honed her creative roots in traditional handcrafts into communicative art filled with thematic and conversational layers that both enrich our lives and pay homage to ancestral memories. Expounding on early teachings from her mother and grandmothers, her fabric manipulation and sculpting techniques are self-taught. Her methods include stiffening mediums and the occasional use of fire to permanently cast a figure within the undulations of fabric and natural fibers as well as a variety of unconventional materials. Whether manipulating fabric, molding pill capsules or casting glass, no medium is outside her artistic reach to best convey her message.

Regardless of her chosen mediums Moyer layers her artworks with familiar textures, be they vintage lace or embroidered words – small vignettes of familiar conversations – all seeking to connect our lives and shared experiences with the memories of those not easily forgotten.

A selection of Moyer's works is currently on exhibit in the "Visionarias" show at Casa Europa (running through April 2). Her selection of female forms cast in fabric and imbued with antique lace and embroidery are from her body of work "Waltzing with the Red Devil". Her figurative sculptures speak volumes, literally and figuratively, of the emotional weight women bear upon receiving a breast cancer diagnosis. Her works in this series represent both friends taken, as well as her own story of survival. Her creative forms, sculpted in vintage fabrics, lace and glass, are imbued with layers of embroidered memories, personal narratives, conversations and motifs that feel hauntingly familiar.

Interwoven among these visual memories are often excerpts of internal dialogues, as well as futile attempts to comfort the viewer. Wendy Moyer personifies the disease and treatments in the nickname of a popular chemo drug, "The Red Devil." Her introduction to this body of work reads:

"Have you ever waltzed with the Red Devil? His melody is a hypnotic drug, mesmerizing — quite enticing. He makes you think you may walk away whole. But alas, the Red Devil is greedy. You'll pay for that dance in pounds of flesh and pray you can shoulder the emotional weight. I have danced with this devil while holding close to my sisters. Prayed, to no avail, that not a one would be taken when the music stopped."

These works are thoughtfully constructed figurative portraits, shrouds, testimonials and epitaphs – all telling a familiar story of adversity, strength, love and loss.

Moyer's recent body of work was exhibited as a solo show in October 2022 at the Museo de la Mujer in Mexico City. Her artworks were also featured in 2022 at group shows at the Senado de la República (the Mexican Senate, CDMX) and Galería Calderoni (Fabric la Aurora, San Miguel).

Wendy Moyer has also been the only representative from Mexico in the New Zealand international competition, WOW – World Of WearableArt™, where three of her award winning artworks were acquired for WOW's permanent historic collection.


Debra Thompson

As an artist with a background in construction, I inevitably turn to building materials to inform the creative process, using plaster, cement and pigmentation to create unique elements and unexpected textures in my work. I am given to including hardware, scrap metal, wire, cord, and nuts and bolts as both decorative and structural elements.

The quiet dialogue I have promulgated in my present work represents a new and emotionally challenging path to follow. It diverges significantly from my previous work that utilized the American flag as a template for promoting dialogue on issues that concern me most. My new work embraces a more contemplative approach, focusing on the fragility and value of personal attachments and seeking to renew our appreciation of the ordinary.

Attachment Series

Thompson's art is deeply informed by her personal experiences and reflections. During the unavoidable isolation forced on all of us by the pandemic, the artist found herself forced to examine the concept of "attachments" and the significance of the people and even the objects in her life. She found herself questioning the value and fragility of attachments and was compelled to explore these ideas in her art.

By combining ordinary objects in unexpected ways and unique contexts, Thompson seeks to foster a renewed sense of appreciation and meaning for the seemingly most unremarkable objects in our lives. She experiments with found materials such as hardware, scrap metal, wire, cord, nuts, bolts and railroad tie staples, using them as building materials in the creation of works characterized by a cold wax medium and oil paint. The resulting pieces display muted or monochromatic palettes, featuring soft visual and physical textures that encourage viewers to contemplate and reflect on the theme of renewal.


Thiel, Thompson and Moyer
will be at Casa Europa, San Francisco 23
each Saturday from 2pm to 4pm through April 2nd

Feel free to stop by and speak with them individually. They are happy to greet all who are interested in viewing their art and knowing more about their inspirations and techniques. Should you prefer a private viewing with any of artists, please add your name to the signup sheet available at the Casa Europa front desk.


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