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Fresh Eyes

VAN WERT, OH (WPTA21)-It’s one of the longest running art shows in the Midwest, the annual June Art Exhibit at Van Wert, Ohio’s Wassenburg Art Center and this show marks its 64th year.

I was astounded at the level of quality that this show brings in,” says Wassenburg director Hope Wallace. “And I think sometimes we’re like the best kept secret because people come in here and they definitely are impressed at the level of these pieces.”

The quality of work here matches or exceeds anything you will find at any regional art exhibition around the country. Watercolor seems to be the medium of choice for many entries, Linda Eachus Pelton immortalizes an icon of the Amish community in this work called ‘Buggies’. She also created this lovely ode to her grandmother’s green thumb, the piece is called ‘Grandma’s Garden’. Watercolor gives a dream-like quality to a picture, this is called ‘Morning Fog’ by Pat Raymon. This watercolor, ‘The Old Mill’ by Nancy Longmate invests new life into old architecture. Rural landscapes are crowd pleasers especially in the Midwest, this stunningly realistic oil painting by Debby Gregory is called ‘April Showers’. And painting is just one of a variety of media at the June Art Exhibit, this is Tom Lehman’s ink drawing of the Bean Blossom covered bridge in southern Indiana. And this gorgeous work isn’t a painting or drawing at all, it’s a paper collage called ‘At the Chihuly’ by Brenda Hofbauer, a nod to the famous glass artist Dale Chihuly. There is a forest full of creatures here..this acrylic is called ‘The Young Prince’ by William John. And this stunning portrait of America’s top raptor, called ‘Van Wert Eagle’, is by Michael Taylor. You will find quilt work here, some fantastic ceramic pieces from the practical to the absurd. But mostly you’ll find ordinary places and ordinary things seen through the eyes of very creative men and women who teach us, above all, to look more closely at the world around us. Find the beauty wherever it may hide and once you’ve found it, look again. Just when you think you’ve seen all there is to see, something unexpected pops up. Eric Olson reporting out in 21 Country.

Eric Olson

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