By Angela Romeo

Artists take may forms but it is substance over form that is key. Vern Chamness was born and raised in southern Illinois. His demeanor resembles that of gentleman, a breath of fresh air in a time when manners and respect are lost to vitriolic diatribes. But Vern’s work is far from gentille. His work takes on an edge that is surreal without the intense irrationality.

Vern received a degree in Architecture. After graduating he worked as an architectural sales rep for major mid-west building materials wholesaler. Opportunity sent him to the multi-cultural area of New Orleans. The Louisiana experience ended and Vern found himself in Dallas, Texas. In Dallas took on many projects including discovering his own artistic expression.

For the next thirty years Vern took his architectural background into new directions when he joined Stone Panels, Inc. as the Specialty Products Manager.  Vern works and continues to work with cutting edge and notable architects and high profile projects. Architecture is never static and often architecture is influenced by art and art by architecture. The relationship between the two is undeniable. Any art movement has a partner in the land of armature and infrastructure. How much was Vern influenced by architecture is seen in his ceramic work.


Vern’s interest in art starting with the purchase of his first home, an 1890’s Victorian.  This home did not have the typical stained glass windows found in other period homes so he learned to do stained glass. He designed and executed many windows for his home. The interest in stained glass windows led to lamps and other art pieces containing glass. Years later an interest in pottery led to a pottery class where he began to hone his artistic talent in ceramics.

Vern’s ceramic work often depicts a figure, or part there of, balanced or balancing seeming unrelated objects. His knowledge of architecture has given him an edge in perfecting the delicate balance of dissimilar objects to create unique figures. Each pieces stands alone. More over since ceramics require the artist to surrender the piece to the kiln the firing process can add an unintended but welcome characteristic to the pieces. Vern’s work finds perfection by allowing the firing process to create the humanity of the work. Imperfect perfection is the art that Vern has captured.

Vern’s work has been widely collected and is currently available at, Trenz Gallery in Cathedral City. With his business partner, Roger Leighton, who is also an artist, the two have created a destination place for eclectic contemporary art.

For more information on Vern Chamness and Trenz Gallery visit