Minnesota Prairie Roots

Writing and photography by Audrey Kletscher Helbling

The visual delight of Layl McDill’s clay sculptures comes to Faribault March 23, 2018

Details in Layl McDill’s “Color Overload” sculpture.


AS A CHILD, I FOUND dime store kaleidoscopes particularly fascinating. I appreciated how a simple turn of the tube could change the colors, the shapes, the images I saw.


More details in McDill’s art.


A certain sense of magic and mystery and wonderment appeared through the eye hole. Art. Vivid. Fluid. And always beautiful.


An overview of some sculptures in McDill’s exhibit in Faribault.


Those memories flowed as I viewed Minneapolis artist Layl McDill’s polymer clay sculptures now on exhibit in the Carlander Gallery at the Paradise Center for the Arts in historic downtown Faribault.


“No one knew she was such a Deep Thinker” by Layl McDill.


McDill’s art is colorful and whimsical, a visual delight. I’ve never seen anything like it in a gallery. I couldn’t stop looking at the many pieces, wondering, How did she do that? And that must have taken her forever.



I thought of those kaleidoscopes. But I thought, too, of Play Doh and how much fun I had rolling, squashing and crafting that product as a child and mom. I expect McDill feels that same joy in creating her clay sculptures.


“Ape Thought he was in Control of the Trees” by Layl McDill.


There’s so much to study within each piece. It would take hours to truly see everything.


Layl McDill’s “Bird’s Little Library Teapot.”


I’d suggest you take the time to visit McDill’s exhibit, to escape into her fantasy world of art. Or take a class she is teaching on Thursday, April 26, at the Paradise. Or book a clay party.


“Wonderment Whale” by Layl McDill.


We all need the distraction of art to sidetrack our minds, to bring us joy, to stretch our creativity. McDill brings all of that in her art.


FYI: Layl McDill’s exhibit at the Paradise closes on April 21. Click here for more information.

Also read my previous post on the Student Exhibition currently showing at the Paradise, 321 Central Avenue N., Faribault. Click here.

© Copyright 2018 Audrey Kletscher Helbling


14 Responses to “The visual delight of Layl McDill’s clay sculptures comes to Faribault”

  1. Marilyn Donnell Says:

    Each image brought a new smile. My granddaughter is watching over my shoulder and asked if there were any I would want to take home. Well, no, just enjoy them in the gallery. We finally decided that Bird’s Little Library Teapot was our favourite.

  2. Fantastical))))! The colors of these sculptures’ are magic. x

  3. Bella Says:

    Love these vibrant clay sculptures-yes they do make you smile and good connection with colors appearing in a kaleidoscope-such a talented artist!.

  4. layl2015 Says:

    Audrey- Thanks for blogging about my show! I love the close ups you captured! It’s always so interesting to see what parts people are drawn to. It has been so awesome to show at the Paradise Center for the Arts!

  5. Littlesundog Says:

    The details are stunning in each piece. I have never seen anything like these sculptures. You did a great job photographing Layl’s work.

  6. Missy's Crafty Mess Says:

    Wow, that must have taken forever and I’m curious how much some of those pieces weighed

  7. Love this. Fabulous colours. Thanks for sharing!

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