James Hubbell is the principal creative force behind Ilan-Lael. He is an artist, architectural designer, a poet, jeweler, sculptor and designer in metal, wood, stained glass, and tile. He is also a teacher to students of architecture and design throughout the world. Hubbell’s formal education was at Cranbrook Art Academy in 1955-56 where he studied Eli Saarinen’s accommodation to nature and applied it to his own work. Travel inspired his work, including tours of Europe where he encountered the work of Gaudi; Africa and its rich sculptural traditions; and Asia, where he painted murals for the Army while serving in the Korean War. Hubbell has received numerous awards, honors, and lifetime achievement recognition from such varied organizations as Rotary International, the National Endowment for the Arts, the American Institute of Architects, the United Nations Eleanor Roosevelt Human Rights Award, and the Pacific Coast Builders Conference.
“It may be that my fascination with what I call beautiful is not understandable. It may be that beauty has to do with the balance, then with an Ideal Good, the pairing, the joining of Venus and Mars, the expression of the whole process of life, birth, and destruction, and back again.”
“I have started working on the stained glass. I had a terrible time figuring what to do. Finally figuring after a day of fretting on a sort of like it was all I could come up with. It wasn’t too hard cutting the glass although it was a bit crude. But find piece to fit in was like a cross word puzzle. I had very little glass of the right colors left. ”
Thoughts on first stained glass window, 1953
Untitled, stained glass, beveled glass,
and brass, 12″ x 17″, 1982
(Photo by Gene Faulkner)
Both nature and landscape play a central role in what James Hubbell creates, but there is a different way of looking at his aesthetic. With little exception his is an art not so much about landscape, but as landscape. Rather than illustrating or aping the landscape, teh majority of his work embodies or emulates nature.
Blue Meadow, cast bronze and glass, 13″ x 14″ 1986 (Photo by Gene Faulkner)
Ilan-Lael (the place)
It is impossible to imagine Hubbell’s body of work as separate from the place in which it is rooted. The architectural vocabularies of Gaudi and Hubbell, for example, are no more obvious than the form and texture that the indigenous manzanita shares with his his iron work, or the native flora shares with his delicate line drawings or the leaded lines in his stained glass pieces. This place where Hubbell lives is simultaneously a nurturer, a resource, a reference, a shelter, a launch pad, and a retreat. It’s also a pedestal on which, and around which, the artist continues his personal affirmation.
For a more complete list of James’s career, view his resume.
Where to See James Hubbell’s Public Art
click here for downloadable document WhereToSeeJTHPublicArt
Visit the James T. Hubbell website.
James Hubbell’s public art is available to visit in many areas throughout San Diego County, Baja Mexico, and the West Coast.
…in Central San Diego
…in East and North County
…on the West Coast
…in Baja California, Mexico