‘Art at the Mill’ exhibit celebrates local people


GREENVILLE – Works of art by Dayton native John Landsiedel will be “On and Off the Wall” at historic Bear’s Mill’s Clark Gallery from May 13 through June 26.

Landsiedel calls himself a “chameleon artist” whose work changes to fit his mood as well as his exhibit site; this show featuring both two- and three-dimensional pieces featuring a local Darke County emphasis will open with an informal reception on Friday, May 13. Sweet and savory finger food provided by The Merchant House plus drinks will be offered from 6 until 9 p.m.; the artist will speak about his diverse work, methods, and inspirations at 7 p.m. This event is free and open to the public.

“John’s unbounded creativity is exciting and inspirational; he creates diverse relatable work that just begs to go home with you,” said Marti Goetz, Executive Director of Friends of Bear’s Mill. “He uses anything and everything in his creations, including many objects that have been discarded by others; we are eagerly anticipating seeing these lively, thoughtful pieces enhancing our rustic setting.”

John Landsiedel said that his work is motivated and inspired by people, and that he hopes his art takes the viewer to new and far places. In this show, the world traveler remembers and commemorates two Darke Countians who he believes changed his life.

One is Dr. H.C. Van Kirk, born in Greenville in 1908, who delivered the artist into this world and remained his close friend until the doctor’s death in 1997. According to Mr. Landsiedel, Dr. Van Kirk isolated folic acid and originated the work used by Jonas Salk to develop the polio vaccine.

The second Darke Countian Landsiedel honors with this exhibit is his fourth grade teacher, Mrs. King, who the former student says “showed us how to dream.” Mrs. King also introduced him to Darke County native Annie Oakley, who the artist will put at center stage for this exhibit so that Annie’s incredible and well-lived life can be recalled and serve as a model yet today.

“We cannot go forward without remembering our past, and Darke County has a very rich past,” said the thoughtful artist who used repurposed materials found in Darke County while creating many of the works to be displayed.

The show will also include photo collages of current Darke Countians; he calls this effort “Series of Movers Shakers and Doers,” and hopes that the friends, neighbors, and acquaintances of those depicted will enjoy viewing these pieces.

“I want people to take home art; they will be taking home history,” Landsiedel said.

To further this cause as well as to encourage people to come out to meet him, he will offer all the work on display at half price during the opening night reception only.

The colorful work of painter Donna Pierce Clark and glass blower Jack Pine will remain on display at the Mill through Sunday May 8. “Art At the Mill” is on view during regular Mill store hours, 11 a.m. till 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays and 1 till 5 p.m. Sundays.

Staff report

Historic Bear’s Mill is owned and operated by Friends of Bear’s Mill, a non-profit organization, and is located at 6450 Arcanum-Bear’s Mill Road about 5 miles east of Greenville. For more information, contact Bear’s Mill at 937-548-5112 or www.bearsmill.com.

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