Remember Aile Lee? The following is reprinted from the Las Vegas Optic…
A self-described “free spirit.” Aile lived a life of great depth and breadth. Born in Heidelberg, Germany on March 21, 1929, Gabriele Irene Gudula Goetze came to the U. S. at the age of 5 when, motivated by the growing Nazi persecution of intellectuals, her father took a professorship at Yale University in New Haven, Conn.
An artist among intellectuals, Aile was influenced by the Arts and Crafts movement and attended Alfred University in New York where she studied Ceramics and Pottery and met her first husband, Peter Hale. A potter of growing renown, Aile lived and potted in New England, including Hampton, Conn., upstate New Hampshire and she was featured in the pottery shop at historic Sturbridge Village, a popular colonial reconstruction in Massachusetts.
She moved to Las Vegas in the late 1950s, following a well known figure in the Arts and Crafts movement, Felix Payant. Aile purchased a little adobe home on the corner of Tecolote and Montezuma streets, where she lived for the rest of her life.
Aile attended Highlands University, and taught pottery at the Las Vegas Medical Center.
She found her life partner in her third husband Homer Lee. She and Homer ran “Treasures and Trash” an antique shop on Bridge Street, and purchased the little adobe homes which surrounded hers.
Aile brought her artist’s eye to their expansion and renovation. Aile made and sold pottery of enduring beauty out of her “pot shop” on the corner.
Aile’s love of nature and growing things led to her interest in exotic birds, and she became one of the largest breeders of parrots in the state, and is known to generations of Las Vegas school children as “the Bird Lady.”
Impelled by her enduring love of knowledge and interest in Central Asia, at the time of her death Aile was working on two scholarly papers on ancient textiles and the cultural and socioeconomic impact of the silk route.
She was dearly loved, and sorely missed by all who knew her. A celebration of her life was held on Sunday, March 2, 2008, at 2 p.m. at Kennedy Hall at NMHU.
There have been many unique and amazing artists that brought their gifts and presence to our Las Vegas, never seen or even heard of by many of our contemporary art lovers.
Our February show will be a tribute these artists with a few samples we were able to collect. Our opening date is still TBA due to the ongoing repairs at Gallery 140, but we will keep you posted.