Christmas Spirits
by: Tovah Martin
Victoria, December 2002

     When Artist Dianne Bernhard set out to find the perfect angel for a holiday tableau fours years ago, she had no idea she was about to launch a tradition. "I couldn't find an angel I liked," she says, "so i asked my friend costume designer Barry Doss to help me design one. Before i knew it, I'd gotten artists from various other fields involved, and one angel became a choir."
     Inspired by Renaissance paintings and an exquisite assortment of vintage fabrics, beads and Austrian crystals, Dianne and her friends set to work sculpting glowing faces, stitching fabrics, draping ribbons, gluing crystals, applying glitter. Though the angels had been created for pleasure, they were so spectacular Dianne's friends and family urged her to show them off-which she did at a private exhibition in her studio. Now she and her colleagues design a new group of angels every year (usually six or eight) sending them on tour so others can enjoy their dazzling beauty. This year they may be viewed at two galleries in Connecticut, as well as the National Arts Club in New York City.