One of the pillars of the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio’s mission is “to preserve and showcase the architecture and collection entrusted to our care.” In keeping with our mission, general maintenance is required in the parlors and so we again called on Fey, a renowned interior decorative artist, to help again.
“When I did (the stenciling) 20 years ago, I kind of assumed that it would outlive me, but we have had some cracking with the plaster and so forth, so the room needs repaired and repainted and I have to do all of the stenciling again,” Fey says.
Keeping the home historically accurate is important to the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio, although its décor surely changed over time. “It looks as it would have if you walked into the room in the 1870s, when the Rising family purchased the home,” Fey says. “As anyone would do, they would update the home when they moved in, and what was popular at the time was Eastlake decorating, setting the tone from getting away from the fancy Victorian stuff with a simpler look,” says Fey. Additionally, stenciling saw a revival during the 1870s, she says.
About the Artist
The self-taught artist came to her 20-year stenciling career in an unusual way. As a high school biology and chemistry teacher at Walnut Ridge High School in the 1970s, she joined a craft club with some of the other teachers. “Stenciling and colonial arts were in revival,” she says. “Each of us (in the club) would research a type of art or craft. I researched stenciling, and taught it to the group and I fell in love with it.”
Fey says her passion lies in historical re-creation of stencils. She has never bought a pre-cut stencil; she creates them all herself. Her passion led her on a journey away from the sciences and toward the arts.
She’s traveled all over working as a well-respected interior decorative artist. Then she created Blue Shoe Arts, working with adults with disabilities who have artistic talent and need practice honing their skills and marketing their work. She also taught folk art at Ohio University Lancaster and at the Decorative Arts Center of Ohio and created commissioned interior decorative art in private homes and healthcare facilities. “I was very blessed to take a God-given talent that I had a passion for to give happiness to people with it,” Fey says.
*All DACO volunteers are welcome to watch Cheryl Fey work in the parlors at 11 a.m. on Jan. 15.