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 Cecil Darby Herring  (1931 - )

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Lived/Active: Florida      Known for: spacescapes, landscape, wearable art, digital artist

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Cecil Herring
An example of work by Cecil Darby Herring
Artwork images are copyright of the artist or assignee
This biography from the Archives of AskART:
The following, submitted June 2006, is from the artist.

Space dreamer and inventor of Spacescapes®, Artist Cecil Herring says this about her 50 year career: 

"I have trekked down many blind alleys, tried many technologies for my space art.  Welding, electroforming, spraying vinyls, painting, recycling space junk, casting plastics.  I have experimented for decades.  I never quite understood my drive until now, as we are in the new Millenium, plan space colonies and stations. The puzzle comes together in a magical way!

My early memories are my Father, Cecil J. Darby, pointing out constellations and stars to me, reading Edgar Rice Burroughs' A Princess of Mars, The Chessman of Mars for bedtime stories!  He would point to Mars and say, "See that red star? We'll go there someday."  I remember thinking of the colors, strange shapes and having vivid dreams every night!

I'm sure I got my love of space and space art from him.  He was a dreamer with a car garage, welded and built racecars.  We went everywhere.  Pan American World Airways Clipper Ships took off from Dinner Key in Miami, my home town.  We watched the big planes taxi out on Biscayne Bay and takeoff.  We went to air shows where planes did loop-t-loops and dives all over the place.  Somehow it all got jumbled together - my passions for art, metals, space and technology.  I studied art and breathlessly watched the space launches on TV.

In 1965, we moved to Brevard County where there were weekly launches.  By 1967, I was a space writer - photographer for the local paper.  Then, I got to watch every awesome launch from a press site three miles away.  I got to meet astronauts, Dr. Wernher von Braun, and climb around in the Vehicle Assembly Building.  Press and famous people were everywhere.  We all had stars in our eyes!  It had a huge impact on my art forms!

I began welding steel and 'space junk' armatures I got from area junkyards and sprayed polyvinyl chloride (a material used to mothball Navalfleets) over the welded armatures.  I added electrical wiring so they would light up!  That is how my Spacescapes© came to be.  They are lightweight, other worldly, holey, curvilinear shapes, covered with a spanable cobweb material, built up into a durable hidelike covering.  Using a diesel compressor and a pressurized spray system sprayed the molasses-like liquid that floated over the armatures, leaving holes.  I painted them in swirling Day-glo colors.

Some had black-lights blinking and some included moving parts.  Naturally, they all had space-related names like Crater Craft, Cool It Charley - A Lunar Experiment, Take Me to Your Leader.  They were shown in black rooms, illuminated with a pulsing black light system I synchronized with synthesizer music of eery screams. roars and thumps - sounds of outer space They glowed in the dark!  They were a hit at my one-woman show in New York in 1971.  I called the show Spacescapes© and was invited to be on ABC Eyewitness News Channel 9 there in New York City.

For 30 years, I've kept the name and spacey imagery going through some tough times.  I don't weld or use metal-forming methods now.  I got very sick in the early 80s with metal poisoning.  My lungs were black.  'Give it ALL up or die', several doctors said.  I thought I was through as an artist.  All metals, solvents, chemicals, plastics, even oil paints became toxic tome.  I thought I was through as an artist so I went to college, EVEN LAW SCHOOL!  That was a 10-year down period in my life!  I was glad the Digital Art Age came around in the late 80s, just in the nick of time for me!  It is cleaner and safer, believe me.  Now, I paint oil paintings using walnut oil capturing the fast disappearing Florida landscape.

Still Space is ever present since I can see the launches from her studio.  Recently, Discovery Channel's London production company interviewed Herring about her involvement with the Apollo 13 launch.  The interview is scheduled to air in July, 2006.
Cecil Herring has had 33 solo shows, over 100 juried, group invitational in Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Miami, New York, San Francisco, and in her first digital showing internationally in the 10th Women's Congress called World's Women On-Line (WWOL)  in Beijing, China and Cologne, Germany.  She was in the Festival of the Masters, Disney World, 8 times, and Winter Park Sidewalk Show 9 times. Her digital art work won a Kodak National Innovator award for large format digital printing and was published in Photography, 7th Edition, Prentice-Hall.

She studied at Arrowmont School of Crafts, the University of Florida, Seminole Community College, Brevard Community College, McFatter Technical School, and received her Bachelor of Arts & Humanities, in sculpture, painting, writing, theatre, and music at U.C.F. in 1986.

For the past three years, Cecil has begun artistically recording Florida's fast disappearing & unique beauty.  She has taken hundreds of photos and painted many Florida landscapes, seascapes and florals.
Memorial Hospital, Savannah, GA
Lane Bryant Collections, Florida
Orlando Modern Art Collection
1st Lady Betty Ford, Ford Museum, Grand Rapids, MI
Kodak, Rochester, N.Y.
Titusville City Hall
Saint Charles Cathedral,  Orlando
University of Florida Medical Center Library, Gainesville
First Presbyterian Church of Orlando
Americatel Corp., Miami,  FL
Phase 2 Publishing, Los Angeles, CA
Heart of Florida, United Way, Orlando, FL
Paulucci Enterprises, Sanford,  FL
ReMax Realty, Indialantic, FL
Crealde Sculpture Garden, Winter Park, FL

2004 Cologne Art Fair, Germany, Electronic Energy Wall, 12 international artists from U.S.A., Japan, Germany and France showed digital works on a 30 foot wall in the Palladium, World War II munitions plant converted into an art exhibiton venue in Cologne, Germany. Invitational group show.2004
2000 - Invited  by NASA  to exhibit space art and publish a paper on life on Mars in a project  called Mars Millennium Project sponsored by NASA, The Planetary Society, Getty Foundation, White House and NEA about  artists living in a Martian Space Station at
This site features architects, scientists, artists, designers, musicians, composers, of international reputation. Invitational group show.
2000 - "Seybold San Francisco "National Digital Symposium, George Mosconi Hall, San Francisco, won 2nd place National Innovator Award for large format digital printing, work exhibited.  juried.
1996, 97, 96, Art & Technology Show Orlando Museum,,  juried. exhibitions of original digital art work, Invitational.
1998 - Mt. Dora Center for the Arts, 7th Annual Exhibition, Mt. Dora, Fl (award)
1997, "A Company of Women:", Ridge Art Association, Winter Haven, FL (award)
1997 - Florida Artists Group 47th Annual Exhibition, Venice Art Center, Venice, FL .
1997 - First Annual National All-Media Exhibition, Ridge Art Center., Winter Haven, FL, juried, invitational (award)
1997 - NASA WEBSITE: Cassini Tracking SaturnI painting on JPL/NASA website at>
1995 - Sarasota Art Center, Women's Caucus for Art, '95, show.Sarasota, FL, invitational
1995  -Digital Images, Electronic Design Association, Palm Beach Jr. College, Palm Beach, FL.
1994 - Coral Springs Artist Guild, Broward Community College, Coral Springs, FL  (best of show)
1994 - Annual Women's Juried Show, St Thomas University, Miami, FL, 1995"World's Women On-line,">  shown in Beijing, China at the United Nation's 4th World Conference on Women Juried by Arizona State U. Professor Murial Magenta.
1992 - Bonnet Lily Painting Juried Competition, Bobnnet House, Fort Lauderdale, FL 1991 Brevard Art Center and Museum Members' Show, Melbourne, FL, 1988 "Oriental Rugs as Inspiration," Maitland Art Center, watercolor, invitational
1982."Electroformed," 10 Artist National Invitational at George Mosconi Hall, San Francisco, Invited by American Electroplaters Society. Artist's work was cover story  for  Plating and Surface Finishing. invitational
1982 - Rollins College Invitational, Cornell Fine Arts Center, Winter Park, FL
1979 - A Salute to Belgium, Southeastern Crafts Invitational, Birmingham Museum, AL Invitational     
1979 - Loch Haven Art Center (Now Orlando Museum of Art)  Members Annual Show,
1977-Loch Haven Art Center (Now Orlando Museum of Art), "Museum's Choice", 1977- Maitland Art Center, Designer Showcase, sculpture, Invitational group show.
1978 - Maitland Art Center, Designer Showcase, sculpture, Invitational group show.
1964 - Pensacola Art Center, Pensacola, FL
1960 - Florida Federated Artists Annual Show, DeBary Hall, DeBary, FL,
1959, Motorola 6th Annual National Show, Chicago, Ill.

2000- Spacescapes® Show, University of Central Florida Main Library, Orlando
1996- Digital Art, Osceola Public Library, Kissimmee, FL
1981 - Multimedia show,  painting, sculpture, wearable art, Seminole Community College, Sanford, FL
1977 - Sculpture Show, Brevard Community College, Cocoa, FL
1975 - Paintings, Melbourne Public Library, Melbourne, FL
1972 - Spacescapes® Sculpture Show, U.S. Air Force Space Museum, Cape Canaveral, FL
1972 - Spacescapes Show, Stetson University, Deland, FL
1969 - Paintings - Florida Institute of Technology, Melbourne, FL
1966, 1969 - Painting Shows, Eau Gallie Library, Melbourne, FL
1964 - J. Hillis Miller Medical Center, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Life member of the Space Pioneer Club (writers and photographers, press people), National Museum for Women in the Arts, Central Florida Chapter, Volusia Cultural Alliance Committee, DeBary Art League, Board member Gateway Center for the Arts, a new 17600 sq foot art center for  West Volusia County, Mac Users Club, Orlando Chapter

2004 - Won "Red is the Color of" Best in Show purchase award Orlando Modern Art Collection
2002,  won best in show, painting, Broward Art Guild
2001, won Kodak National Award for large format digital printing
1995, 1st sculpture award, Indialantic Art Festival,
1974. 1st sculpture, Mainsails, St. Petersburg, FL

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