United Nations Exhibit Orlando Sentinel 1999

Sculptor’s Audience Is International

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“Work by past University of Central Florida professor, Jóhann Eyfells, will be in a United Nations exhibit. “You never know what this will lead to,” he said.

August 1, 1999 By Margaret Sloane Sentinel Correspondent

OVIEDO – Artist Johann Eyfells will have an international stage for his art.

The sculptor has been notified that one of his creations was chosen to be displayed in an art exhibition at the United Nations in New York City.

“It’s really wonderful to be part of something as top-notch as this show,” said the 76-year-old artist. “You never know what this will lead to.” One of his complex and philosophical pieces from a collection he calls “cloth collapsions” was selected for the U.N. show. It will be shipped to New York for exhibition along with works by artists from 35 countries.

Eyfells, who was born in Reykjavik, Iceland, will represent his homeland at the U.N. exhibit, which will open in September. You might think Eyfells, after 30 years of teaching at the University of Central Florida, would look forward to a quiet retirement. Instead, Eyfells is forging into the commercial world of art with the same passion he taught his students at UCF.

Eyfells’ cloth collapsions have never been shown before, and he hopes to make a statement in the art world with his unusual creations.

“I consider my work sculpture even though the pieces consist of several layers of porous cloth, because I use sculpture elements such as metal disks or rings when designing them,” he said. Although the artist is enjoying worldwide acclaim, his heart is still in the community where he lives. Eyfells is particularly excited to play a role in giving Oviedo international recognition. “It’s a strong beginning in establishing Oviedo as an artist colony and a worldwide center for the arts,” he said.

With his years of mentoring students, Eyfells is amazed at the talent in the community. He thinks small cities such as Oviedo should capitalize on their homegrown talent. Barbara Walker-Seaman, owner of the Artistic Hand in Oviedo, was one of Eyfells’ first students at UCF 30 years ago. “I think it is very exciting that a local artist of his caliber is involved in such a prestigious show at the U.N. His work is so unique and full of energy. It stimulates the imagination,” she said.

Eyfells’ work is symbolic of his belief that it is the outer world that triggers what to do next, a concept that he calls “receptualism.” Receptualism has strong ties to the idea that man needs to pay more attention to the nature of things and to conserve the world.

Eyfells has recently sold a few pieces of his work from another collection. When asked why there seems to be a growing interest in owning his artwork, he said that his age probably has something to do with it. “It’s just a theory, but when an artist is getting on in years, people are more apt to buy some of his work,” he said.

Some of Eyfells’ sculptures grace the front lawn of his home on Tuskawilla Road in Oviedo. His work took top prize in the First National Sculpture Invitational Exhibition at the DeLand Museum in 1992 and has been exhibited worldwide in both private and public collections.

Eyfells plans a large one-man show of his work at the UCF art gallery in September. To view some of Eyfells’ work or to contact him, you can log on to: http://pegasus.cc.ucf.edu/jeyfells/

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