Colorful blown glass and paintings featured at Bear’s Mill


GREENVILLE — Historic Bear’s Mill will host an exhibit in the Clark Gallery from Friday, May 26 through Sunday, June 25 featuring colorful hand blown glass by ex-Marine Doug Frates and Impressionistic paintings of the natural world by environmentalist Chris Comte.

An opening night reception from 6 to 8 p.m. will offer finger food and drinks as well as brief talks by the artists who will share information about their work, methods, and inspiration at 7 p.m. “Art at the Mill, ” curated by Jan Roestamadji and Julie Clark, is free and open to the public.

According to Marti Goetz, Executive Director of Friends of Bear’s Mill, the featured artists’ work inspires joy and delight.

“The tranquil setting of the Mill is dramatically enhanced by Doug’s striking vessels and Chris’s inviting paintings,” Goetz said. “These artists produce simply stunning pieces that inspire interest, and almost demand to go home with appreciative viewers.”

After serving in Iraq in 2003, Doug Frates left the Marine Corps in search of a civilian career. A glass-blowing class at Sonoran Glass Art Academy in Tucson, AZ set him on his path to becoming an internationally recognized glass artist. As a true artist, he is motivated by the ever-changing world as he designs and hand blows each piece utilizing only the highest quality materials to ensure true, vibrant colors.

“In the hands of an artist like Doug, glass becomes a creative and expressive medium that goes beyond hues and textures to reach out and revitalize the human soul; we are excited to display his work in the Clark Gallery,” said Jan Roestamadji.

Chris Comte’s broad range of experience contributes to her artwork; the former Navy nurse and computer science professor spends many hours experiencing the wonders of the outdoors. She says that her paintings reflect the exhilaration and renewal inspired by the beauty, diversity and ever-changing dramas to be found in nature.

“I strive to paint the vibrance, the freshness, the calm, the excitement, the awe and the spiritual essence of the world I see,” explained the Cincinnati-area artist.

“Whether painting elegant abstracts or earthy animal portraits, Chris’s simple but elegant palette and composition are impressive, delighting the eye and the spirit,” Julie Clark remarked.

“Art at the Mill” continues at Bear’s Mill’s Clark Gallery through December, with a new exhibit opening on the Final Friday of each month.

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

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