Sep
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2018
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From the Print
Lowell Converse will have his wood turnings on display along with work by nine other wood artists and artisans in a new exhibition at Yellow Springs Arts Council Gallery, Friday, June 15, through July 15. An opening reception June 15, from 6-9 p.m., will coincide with the village’s twice-yearly Art Stroll. (Submitted photo)

Lowell Converse will have his wood turnings on display along with work by nine other wood artists and artisans in a new exhibition at Yellow Springs Arts Council Gallery, Friday, June 15, through July 15. An opening reception June 15, from 6-9 p.m., will coincide with the village’s twice-yearly Art Stroll. (Submitted photo)

YSAC to spotlight beauty of wood

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The beauty and aesthetic harmony of wood will be on display this month in an invitational exhibition hosted by Yellow Springs Arts Council.

“Wood Invitational,” on view at the arts council gallery Friday, June 15, through July 15, will feature the creations of 10 area artists and artisans who work in the medium of wood. An opening reception will be held from 6–9 p.m. June 15.

Each of the 10 participants either live in or near the village or have local affiliations such as membership in Village Artisans, according to arts council gallery Coordinator Nancy Mellon.

Participating woodworkers are Lowell Converse, Paul DeLaVergne, John Garrett, Alan Greenberg, Tom Hawley, Rob Liptak, Jim Mayer, Steve Merland, Bruce Parker and Russ Shaw.

Pieces on display will range from hand-crafted tables and chairs, bowls and boxes, to wood sculptures and wall art.

The experience of viewing elicits other senses as well — the smell of sawn  or lacquered wood and the tactile qualities of smooth or rough-hewn surfaces.

The sources of wood are also  various. Some of the artists rely on found or scrap pieces, some incorporate wood reclaimed from other uses.

Many of the participating artists strive for daily usefulness. All strive for beauty.

Village Artisan member Lowell Converse, of Beavercreek, is classified as a “Master Turner” by the Ohio Valley Woodturners Guild, and has won multiple awards for his work, which ranges from art pieces to decorative home items. Using found wood that would “otherwise be useful only for firewood,” he “is motivated by the desire to exhibit the natural beauty and warmth inherent in the wood,” according to his artist statement.

Local resident Jim Mayer, whose wife, Theresa, is a glass artist and watercolor painter, traces his interest in woodworking to his childhood, when he built a treehouse fort, then a dog house and then a kitchen table.

Mayer, who also pursues welding project, likes to “repurpose” old wood, giving new life to materials that would otherwise be thrown away.

Wood’s “inherent” beauty attracts Tom Hawley, who lives and maintains a studio on Snively Road.

“I try to find the most interesting grain in each piece of wood, then shape it in a way that accentuates and adds meaning to its inherent beauty,” Hawley says of creating his pieces, which include sculptural forms and functional objects.

Local resident Russ Shaw, who lives on the family farm outside of town, says he is inspired by nature, particularly the flora and fauna around his home.

Shaw creates wood pictures depicting the natural scenes he observes. Birds — including owls, woodpeckers, great blue herons, nuthatches and chickadees — are especially favored subjects of his work, which are made from reclaimed Ohio native wood.

All of the participating artists are expected to be present for the June 15 opening,  which will be held as part of the twice-yearly Art Stroll.

During Art Stoll, which traditionally falls on the first Friday after Street Fair, local gallery spaces host receptions and a number of local shops extend their business hours into the evening.

Among the planned activities, Village Artisans will host an artists reception for its current members show, “Animals Reign,” from 6–9 p.m. In addition, watercolors and digital photography by Matt Moberly will be on display at Chris K Gallery; and the artist, who hales from Alaska, will be on hand from 6–9 p.m.

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