Dell Siler’s portraits capture the kindness and humor in his subjects’ faces. He’s talented, and his work is fantastic, even to the untrained eye.
And he used to create art with a pencil or a paintbrush in his mouth.
Born with a rare birth defect, A.M.C., Siler uses a wheelchair. When he sketches now, he uses his arms, placing the drawing utensil in his hand. His wrists are angled outward, but he produces legitimate and skilled art. His candid sketches go for between $25 and $50 each, and he sells his paintings for more, usually, or trades them for goods or services.
“I’ve been interested in art … from tadpole,” he said. “I cannot remember a time I was not drawing.” It’s one of the things that he can do completely without assistance.
Siler graduated from Cave Spring High School in 1977. He earned his bachelors and masters degrees in Fine Art (specialty in drawing and painting) from Radford University. His favorite subject is “people, folks, individuals…”
On Wednesday, January 11, Siler visited Salem High School’s Visual Art Club in the morning and then stayed through classes and visited with students, also critiquing and giving suggestions for their artwork if they wished.
“They respect his opinion, the artistic wisdom that he has,” said SHS art teacher Mike Gibson.
-Miranda Beck, special to SwoCo