GREENVILLE — Anna Bier Gallery Director Marcia Weidner is retiring on June 1 after 20 years of service to the gallery.
“I’m looking forward to doing other things,” she said. “But I will continue painting and traveling more.”
She got her start two decades ago when she was taking painting classes at the time from Nancy Foureman.
“After I made mention that I wanted to do something with art…that I wanted a part-time job and meet other artists… Suzi Brown suggested I take over for Nancy Johnson who wanted to retire,” Weidner recalled. “I thought I would work for a couple of years.”
Famous last words. A couple turned into 20, after she became its fourth director.
Her final show is the gallery’s annual high school exhibit currently on display at the facility and it will remain there until May 27.
Weidner has been filling the space in the gallery with what Darke County Center of the Arts member Marilyn Delk, in her recent column, called diverse and beautiful art, each season mounting five exhibits in the gallery located within historic Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall.
“This is a bittersweet moment for me; but presenting the blossoming talents of our budding artists provides a wonderful way to close this chapter of my life on a forward-looking note, ” Weidner stated to Delk.
In fact, the entire retirement is bittersweet for the retiring director.
“But I look forward to seeing the next director take what I’ve done, build it up and move on with it,” said the soon-to-be retiree who plans to help in the transition and is still be part of the gallery.
Weidner said the job is fun.
“It’s a physical job..fixing lights and hauling art up here up and down the stairs,” she said.
It was also her job to find artists and do some fund-raising.
She did note, however, that she has countless volunteers, including Isabel Culbertson, Pat Haines, Marilyn Graeff and Marilyn Delk who sit in the galleries on Saturday
“I enjoy it…meeting the artists, seeing their work and following them,” Weidner said. “I went to different art shows all over to find artists to come to the gallery. We used to ship in exhibits, but those were high costs. Now, we pay a small fee for artists to bring their art work here.”
Weidner said she has even taken several workshops from artists she brought into the gallery. Weidner has studied under such artists as Nancy Foureman, Sandy Cable-Barringer, Chuck Marshall, Warren Taylor, Pam Newel, Carol Strock-Wasson, Mark Fulton, Tanvi Pathare and Mary Ann Davis.
Weidner, herself an artist, favors the medium of oil.
“I paint landscapes and have done a few portraits,” she said. “I just did a commission piece for Weaver Brothers [in Versailles], recreating a black and white portrait taken in the 1950s and made it colorful. I have done several commissions and sold paintings out of the shows.”
She showed her own personal collection last year at the gallery for the first time. She has also taken her work to other shows, including Richmond Art Museum, Piqua Arts Council, Randolph County, Great Darke County Fair and the Ohio Artists Show in Columbus.
Art, she said, is a natural talent for her. Her high school art teacher, Virginia Woodbury, was encouraging.
Weidner and husband Karl will be married 35 years on Sept. 25. They are the parents of three daughters, Natalie Renfroe of Crystal Springs, Mississippi, Alaina Siefring of Charleston, South Carolina, and Vanessa of Columbus. There are two grandsons on the way, due three weeks apart very soon.
“My husband is an engineer; we’re complete opposites,” said Marcia, daughter of the late Max and Mary Sink and a 1979 graduate of Ansonia High School.
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