This is one of an occasional series of blog posts dedicated to our “Rosarians,” artists who have become familiar faces over the years to patrons who attend Rose Squared Arts Shows.
Bob and Sandy Lehman share a philosophy when it comes to the art they create.
“Our booth is filled with people who are smiling,” Bob says.
Both have exhibited their work at Rose Squared Art shows for decades. Their careers as professional artists span the 53 years they’ve been married.
Initially, they operated side-by-side booths. Bob painted abstracts and sunsets using watercolors, many of them massive in size. He later evolved into creating original sculptures from hand-painted gourds, adding other elements of nature. He grew weary of that work and now focuses on driftwood, where he always finds a face.
Sandy experimented with making ornaments from bread dough back in the ’70s but quickly switched to working with polymer clay. She started making hand-formed clay sculptures of animals and children but a move to Melbourne Beach, Florida, offered fresh inspiration.
“When I was in my workshop one day, I looked outside and could see lizards perched on some shelves,” she says. “So, I started making lizards, frogs, turtles, and for a while, sea creatures like manatees and sharks.”
Today, they collaborate on one booth for their business, “Small Wonder.” The Lehmans rely on nature for their supplies. Bob adds eyes made from acorns to his driftwood, and his handmade eyeballs come from stone. Sandy collects shells and often perches her whimsical creatures on driftwood. She finds some of the shells strolling the beach in her hometown, but the Lehmans often travel to look for treasures, too. A recent trip to North Carolina revolved around visiting a remote island solely for the purpose of shell collecting.
“I like broken shells; they’re so interesting,” Sandy says.
Whether it’s Bob or Sandy’s work, each piece is unique.
The Lehmans participate in as many as 24 shows a year, and they try to be part of every Rose Squared show. They are partial to the beautiful New Jersey parks that serve as hosts and visiting northern New Jersey has the added benefit of being close to their daughter. Both are also graduates of what is now Montclair State University.
If you haven’t already, meet the Lehmans at this year’s Rose Squared Art shows at Brookdale Park and Anderson Park!
Rose Squared Art Shows are held four times annually. The 2022 dates are Verona Park (May 21-22), Spring Brookdale Park (June 18-19), Anderson Park (Sept. 17-18) and Fall Brookdale Park (Oct. 15-16).