"Violent Tornados and the Whirlwind: Kaleta Doolin,” by Ed Howard, Arts Dallas Magazine, Summer, 1988.

Besides her four outstanding firsts this spring Ms. Doolin has had her sheet metal sculpture pieces in Connemara (of which We had a photo in issue number 2), Wolfe City Sculpture Farm, and in Excellence 88. She is as well the co-chair responsible for the Excellence 88, currently at the Plaza of the Americas. A great deal of her time went into this very successful national juried show. She was pleasantly surprised when the judges announced she was to be included in the show.

Stormy Weather, her exhibit at SMU in June and July, is a euphemism for the break-up of a recent personal relationship, The Tornadoes express the tempest of emotions, the contained anger and not a few retaliatory fantasies. The exhibit included three twisters. The most spectacular was a walk -in installation of the inside of a tornado filled with her personal symbols and sculptural vocabulary. The violence and chaos inside the spinning storm was an expression of her own chaotic emotions. The vortex was created of many pieces of shiny sheet metal, with her symbolic designs cut in them. The thundering sound and pale yellow lighting added to the effect significantly. Where is this busy and exciting artist headed? She has gleaned two commissions this year. ' 'And I am very excited about my new plasma torch!" she exclaimed. . A Plasma torch, we learned from the artist, is a cutting torch with a very fine flame blended With compressed air. ' 'It doesn't heat or distort the metal the way Kaleta Doolin's art of the tornado or whirlwind is certainly expressive of her art and her life recently. Her active career has itself been a like a whirlwind. This spring she had the first show in the new Contract Design Center, she was the first Alumna at Hockaday to present a Work of art there, she had the first one person show at Hughes-Trygg, the first sculpture only show there and the first alumna to show there. There is the Gallery of the Hughes-Trygg Student Center at SMV. Ms. Doolin earned both her B.F. A. and last year her M.F.A. in studio art/sculpture from SMU. Other cutting torches have in the past. "It makes a finer cut, doesn't roll the metal as much. It is a precision tool."

The maquette in the Stormy Weather show, for her Hockaday School commission, was made with it. It looked like lace. It was stainless steel lace. This small twister is an example of the small detail, precision cut work she wants to incorporate in her large-scale sculpture; for example, the Masai Mara piece at Connemara. The recreation of the veldt is so large, it was visible to this writer from a jetliner at over 10,000 feet. For the time being she wants remain a sculptress. She has to close down other options or she can't focus. Although trained in both printmaking and photography, she limits herself now to sculpture. "My statement is most effective in three dimensional work."

Copyright © 2006 Kaleta Doolin