Local artist sculpts his way to success | TheUnion.com

Local artist sculpts his way to success

The open house at Jeff Tritel’s 4,000-square-foot studio in Grass Valley during the weekend showcased nearly 200 bronze sculptures done throughout a period of 24 years.

Tritel, 57, displays his art pieces at about 30 exhibitions a year. Nearly 1,000 clients on five continents – some of whom own as many as 40 sculptures – collect his work.

Nevertheless, the handful of people roaming through the spacious studio and the sprawling sculpture garden on Tritel’s 10-acre property near Lime Kiln Road on Sunday afternoon showed that Nevada County were relatively unaware of the artist.

“I think Jeff’s work is fascinating,” said Richard Gill, a Nevada City-based sculptor who has known Tritel for the past decade. “It is whimsy and real at the same time. I think you can get a feel of what they (the figures in the sculptures) are doing even if they are abstract.”

One of Tritel’s latest works, called “Four the Birds,” shows four bird-like figures sitting on eggs on a board. As the seating arrangement of the four is changed, the sculpture implies a different message, such as friendship, ostracism, judgment and shared experience.

Cecile Kaplan, one of Tritel’s regular collectors, came from Sacramento to the open house with her husband, Julian.

“His creativity continues to grow,” Cecile said about Tritel. “It’s inspiring – that’s what art does.”

What impresses Cecile most about Tritel’s art is “the creativity – not the actual piece, but the impression of the figures and the message he is getting across.”

During the past two days, about 50 people have attended the open house, said Bonnie Tritel, Jeff’s wife.

“It’s not huge; it’s intimate,” she said. “People get time to talk to Jeff. We really stress a casual feeling as opposed to some art events, which are more formal.”

Jeff agreed.

“The best part of an open house is making new friends and being able to share my work in an intimate, casual environment,” he said. “In an open house, people can see the whole body of my work. I can show them the molds, the working process. The experience becomes far-reaching.”

Though his open house has ended, those interested in visiting Tritel’s gallery can do so by making an appointment with him by calling 268-1048. People interested in knowing more about him can visit his Web site at http://www.tritelstudios.com.


To contact Staff Writer Soumitro Sen, e-mail soumitros@theunion.com or call 477-4229.

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