“Two Artists Capture Spirit & Vision of Palm Theatre”
by Josie Jay
The Telluride Watch
March 25-28, 2005

The Palm Theatre may be a performing arts venue, but two artists of another sort have used their talents to enhance the theatre with still beauty.

The donor wall in the Michael D. Palm Theatre is more than a tribute to valued donors who helped make the theatre a reality; it is a work of art. Designed by local metal artist Lisa Issenberg, the installation is a series of “petals,” each bearing the name of a theatre donor. The sculpture consists of stainless steel, cast aluminum and silver with the various sized “petals” corresponding to the size of a donation.

This is a truly exciting commission…an art piece for an art venue,” said Issenberg. “[The theatre entry] has a perfect curved wall for the piece. It’s a blank canvas, a dream for any artist.”

Issenberg said she “envisioned something floating and expansive… something in relief and dynamic” for the piece. “The wall was asking for something explosive and playful, something pouring over it or jumping off of it,” she said. “Steel translations of moving spotlights and snowstorms kept coming to mind, and eventually a bursting of abstract ‘petals.’” Issenberg drew her inspiration from “the perfect natural curves and tips of wildflower petals. I worked on the shape until it felt right.” The piece was installed this week, just in time for the theatre dedication this weekend.

Telluride Schools Superintendent Mary Rubadeau said Issenberg truly captured the school’s vision for a donor wall for something other than brass plaques mounted on wood. Issenberg delivered in style with a unique and beautiful recognition of donors to the theatre.

“Mary, Bill de Alva and the school board are a pleasure to work with,” said Issenberg. “They have been very accommodating and positive from the start.” The piece spans about 15 feet across and descends from the ceiling eight feet, protruding from the wall a few inches.