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Stuart Fabe and Marla Helton Endowment
Purpose of Fund
History of Fund
Stu Fabe was a long-time Cincinnati resident who enjoyed a fruitful career in charitable fund-raising. Marla Stanley Helton is a native of Putnam County. In 2003 Marla and Stu became partners, in life and in producing unique art. They have a studio on their farm on County Road 250 North in Greencastle, and visitors are welcome by appointment. Although they travel extensively, Fabe says, “It is always good to return home to Putnam County.”
Stu and Marla are gourd artists, and each brings a unique, artistic vision to the gourd-art world. They enjoy life on their farm and sharing ideas and techniques with each other. In addition, they travel to different cities, exhibiting their fine art gourds together. “We feel a strong connection to nature, and our art reflects that commitment,” said Fabe. “We enjoy giving “artistic life” to an entity that once held “natural life.”
Most Recent Grant Award
Total Grants Awarded:
About the Artists: As gourd artists, we feel a strong connection to nature, and our art reflects that commitment. In essence, we enjoy giving “artistic life” to an entity that once held “natural life”.
We hand-dye our gourds using a wide array of leather dyes and color pigments to achieve rich, deep hues. Then, the gourds are sealed, drilled, woven and embellished using natural fibers and materials. Among our favorite weaving materials are Danish Cord and waxed linen thread which we use to create flowing, sculptural designs upon the gourd. While the weaving, itself, creates beautiful designs, the “windows” created by the weaving provide equally fantastical shapes that appear to float within the woven fibers.
We have found that it is somewhat difficult to categorize our gourd art because there is nothing else quite like it. Many people tend to think of our gourds as having a Southwestern motif, though that is not our intent. Instead, we feel that our art is multi-cultural in appearance, blending a contemporary sophistication with a timeless spirit of native peoples working with natural materials.
We are both gourd artists, and we bring our own unique, artistic visions to the gourd art world. We love our life on our farm and enjoy sharing our ideas and techniques with each other. Then, of course, when we are not working in our studio, we enjoy traveling to different cities, sharing our work and the joy that comes from exhibiting our fine art gourds.
Wherever we go; however, it is always good to return home to Putnam County. In 2010 Stu and Marla created an endowment fund at the Putnam County Community Foundation as a way to give back to their community.