Adelbert Heil Restores Morellos

Those arriving at VCCA will notice a welcome addition along San Angelo Drive: two of Lorca Morello's limestone totems has been installed beside the road to join the two others already there. The sculptures had broken a number of years ago and were languishing in the barn waiting for a little TLC. Enter Adelbert Heil a sculptor from Bamberg, Germany who has been in residence since October 3.

Frustrated because the materials he had shipped from Germany were significantly delayed, Adel made the best of it, producing an impressive showing of his work for our fall open studios event using You Tube videos, photographs and a single plaster sculpture he whipped up.

His can-do attitude also came to the fore when overlapping with Lorca for just one night, their conversation over dinner turned to the sad state of her sculptures. Donated to VCCA by Lorca in 1988, The Moon Tree Series comprises four sculptures that were placed in the front field and designed to be also used as scratching posts for the cows that shared the pastures. “For many Fellows, the sight of Lorca's sculpture on the front drive meant that they had arrived at their creative home,” says Director of Artists' Services Sheila Gulley Pleasants. “Over the years, several of the sculptures fell into disrepair. One suffered mightily in a contest with an overzealous bull. Two of the sculptures were removed from the field because they were too damaged.”

After Lorca left, Adel, who in addition to being a sculptor, is a skilled sculpture restorer, approached Sheila about repairing Lorca's sculptures. He located some stone on the Sweet Briar campus and acquired other materials from the hardware store, and voilĂ , a few days later, the three damaged pieces were restored and the victim of the bull erected once again with the help of Facilities Manager Mike Patterson.

The project actually took a good deal of effort on Adel's part to put the pieces together again. During all this, his delivery from Germany finally arrived, but he stuck with the repairs until they were completed before finally turning to his own work.

All of us at VCCA are so grateful to Adel for taking on this much needed job and bringing Lorca’s wonderful addition to the Mt. San Angelo landscape back to life.


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