Callie Shanafelt

World-renowned Berkeley sculptor exhibits new work at the Richmond Art Center

At first glance, it is hard to connect the large clay sculptures currently on display at the Richmond Art Center with their creator. Berkeley artist Stephen De Staebler, 76, is an unassuming silver-haired man with weathered hands. At a recent reception for the Richmond Art Center exhibit, The Sculptor’s Way, he smiled warmly while visitors introduced themselves and commented on his work. It is difficult to imagine the artist – who uses a wheelchair –piecing large clay blocks into imposing figures over six-feet tall. Yet during the past two years, with the help of an assistant, De Staebler produced all of the 27 sculptures in the exhibit.