"My fascination starts with my own wish to live with unique interior accents—pieces that pop a decor or blend with an element of surprise. I like to say artist-driven, but born in functionality." –Andrea Wendel
A side table, $1,800, from Wendel’s Literaffiti (literature-inspired graffiti) series
Sculptor. Artist. Furniture-maker. Creative. All accurately describe Andrea Wendel. They’re vast in description yet hardly scratch the surface of her talent. She is, in effect, the definition of a multihyphenate.
It’s unsurprising, then, that Wendel hails from a family with deep connections to the home design world: an interior designer mother, a contractor stepfather and an architect brother, to be precise. “We all love home and surroundings,” Wendel says. But her point of view takes cues from artistry and the avant-garde. “My fascination starts with my own wish to live with unique interior accents,” she explains, “pieces that pop a decor or blend with an element of surprise. I like to say artist-driven, but born in functionality.”
That unique mix has earned Wendel a loyal following and a three-decade career in the Roaring Fork Valley. “My work for the last 30 years has been about the integration of art and furniture,” she says. Drawing on different cultures and art movements, Wendel’s pieces are a mashup of her time spent traveling through Africa and the Navajo Nation. “The particular cultures,” the artist notes, “have shaped my aesthetic and remain at the core of my work.” While deeply inspired by the culture and craft of these places, Wendel’s aesthetic is more free- flowing. “I let my interests and my eyes guide me,” she says. “The idea of blending cultures and art movements inspires the decisions in all of my work.” Work that, naturally, includes decor. “I think that growing up in a constant visual perspective seeps into your DNA. I can feel the spaces and visualize easily. There is a balance that just feels right.”
In July, Wendel will show a selection of her pieces at Forré Fine Art. “I wanted to create a space of my work, which changes the story of an object beyond its function to show ideas for people to live in a creative environment,” she says of the installation. “Tables can be a piece of art; shelves can become sculpture. It’s the details and special touches—pieces that have a story and a soul that create a creative energy and personalize a space.” And in Wendel’s fantastical world, such transformations are entirely possible.