DCCA News: Demonstrating what teachers can do

The fallacy of the oft-refuted statement, “Those who can—do; those who can’t—teach” is aptly demonstrated in the exhibit currently on display in the Anna Bier Gallery.

Franklin-Monroe art instructor Scott Thayer has been teaching seventh- through 12th-grade students since 1998; he also serves as an adjunct professor at Edison Community College and Urbana University. Although several of Scott’s students have pursued artistic careers, the masterful teacher believes that all students can benefit from art classes that activate creative thinking.

“Producing quality pieces of artwork also increases self-esteem, and provides an opportunity for students to express themselves visually,” he stated.

Scott Thayer loves his work, but also loves to learn and continues to hone his craft, creating a broad array of art in many genres while exploring new concepts and differing techniques as he increases his own skills and expands his knowledge. The quietly joyous sampling of Scott’s past and present work currently on display includes photography, ceramics, sculpture, and paintings and fills the gallery space with a sense of delight and discovery.

Brilliant color abounds in lovely scenes captured by Scott’s camera in areas ranging from California to “right behind my house,” which sits just outside of Greenville. The stark beauty of monolithic rocks illuminated in the light of the sun setting in a Nevada sky is beautifully reproduced in two pictures taken at Lake Tahoe; that beauty is rivaled by a photo of the Greenville Creek meandering through its wooded banks in autumn. Both images pull the viewer into the scene, evoking wonder.

Three of the most striking photos on display are shimmering black and white images; “Frosted Leaves,” Frosted Maple,” and “Frosted Milkweed, ” were taken at Shawnee Prairie on a frosty morning. Another photo, “Blackwood Creek,” was actually shot in color, but Scott discovered that dramatic contrast and intensity of line were enhanced by printing in black and white.

A totally different but no less captivating photograph shows what appears to be a piece of fiberglass insulation in a window frame; entitled “Lunar Window,” the other-worldly scene was captured in a Greenville alley a few years ago. Providing drastic contrast are three stunning close-up images of “Red Bougainvillea” which inspire smiles of unadulterated delight.

Eleven vibrantly colored ceramic pieces on display were removed from a 12-hour firing in Scott’s bonfire pit just before their arrival at the Gallery; their creator says that he was surprised by the brightness of the contrasting colors, and wonders if the extreme temperature differences experienced locally may have caused the spectacular outcome. A graceful celadon bowl, the successful result of Scott’s experimenting with a type of Chinese pottery, and an elegant red vase dramatically incised with the use of a tool of the artist’s own invention also attract the eye.

Two fascinating wire sculptures illustrate Scott’s diverse interests and talents; done as an independent study project at Miami University, different gages of wire create simple and complex forms that are framed and lighted. “Beauty Revealed” is an intriguing sculpture that took its form by following the grain of the wood from which the piece emerged. Another lovely sculptured abstract figure in bronze was created using the lost wax process, a technique that the sculptor says was hard work, but “really, really cool,” a totally fitting description for the piece itself.

Paintings on display include an inviting triptych depicting Carillon Beach, Florida, that whisks you away to the warmth of the seashore. A sweet and lovely watercolor shows Scott’s young children peacefully asleep; simply entitled “Lindsey and Ross” the painting is one any parent would treasure, as is the piece hanging beside it, “Ross, 16 Weeks,” depicting a sleeping baby swaddled in blue fabric.

The impressive output of art teacher and artist Scott Thayer will be on display at the Anna Bier Gallery, located within Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall in Greenville, through Feb. 13. The Gallery is open Saturdays from 11 a.m. till 3 p.m., and prior to performances at the Hall. To view the art at other times, contact Gallery Director Marcia Weidner at 937-417-3497.


By Marilyn Delk

Marilyn Delk is a director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at [email protected] Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.