Darke County Center for the Arts’ mission to present and promote the arts in our community includes the visual arts; DCCA works to fulfill that portion of its mission through fine arts exhibits in the Anna Bier Gallery, located within Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall.
Recently, CeCelia Rice was appointed as the new director of the Anna Bier Gallery; CeCelia is working hard to fill the Gallery with work by area artists for the community to inspect and enjoy throughout the year. The Honolulu-born Navy brat who now lives in Stelvideo with her husband Dustin and daughter Chelsi says that for as long as she can remember, her primary interests have been focused on art.
“In middle school, only two art courses were available, so I took the same course twice because that was my only option,” CeCelia explained. Well, she chose that course of action after she realized that she could not become a paranormal investigator like those she saw on Scooby-Doo and decided she would have to look elsewhere for meaningful activity.
One of 12 children, CeCelia grew up in Mansfield, Ohio and, although her mother plays the flute and likes to draw dragons, is the only one of her family to pursue a career in the arts. The new Gallery Director graduated from Edison State Community College, where she was inspired by Greg Clem, head of Edison’s Fine Arts Department and others including ceramics teacher Stephanie Beiser, and Maureen O’Keefe, who taught CeCelia to work in reductive charcoal, a process wherein the artist starts by covering paper with charcoal and then erasing to reveal the picture.
“It’s working backwards and it’s messy, but it’s fun,” she said, then added, “And if you mess up, it’s easy to just erase and start all over again.”
Although she is enthusiastic about all art forms, she doesn’t participate in painting with oils: “Because I’m not good at it,” CeCelia explained she does enjoy working with pastels, and her work is available at The Joy and Whimsey Depot in Lewisburg, Ohio. In addition to making art, CeCelia has had an eclectic array of jobs, including video store clerk and restaurant server, and most recently served as an Activity Director supervising tours and events at Quiet Harmoney Elk Ranch in New Paris.
“The Anna Bier Gallery Director position is literally my dream job,” the new director stated. “When I saw the ad on Greenville Art Guild’s Website, I immediately applied, and am thrilled to actually get the opportunity to do it,” she concluded.
While she is learning the ropes of her new job, she is also revising and expanding some Gallery procedures. In addition to being open prior to all DCCA performances at Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall, the Anna Bier Gallery is now open the second and fourth Sundays of each month from 12 noon till 2 p.m. CeCelia is also planning a juried open show, to be on display from Dec. 1 through January, for which she is currently seeking entries. To apply, pick up an application at the Anna Bier Gallery or contact CeCelia at [email protected]; deadline for entries is Nov. 14. Also, CeCelia is currently posting on Instagram pictures of artwork sent to her at the above address, and the Gallery Facebook page features news of related arts events.
Paintings by iconic Darke County artist Robert Brubaker are currently hanging in the Anna Bier Gallery. An exhibit of vibrant nature photographs by Indiana resident Peggy Hoover will open with a reception beginning at 7 p.m. on Saturday, Sept. 11, coinciding with DCCA’s first presentation of its 2021-2022 Re: Vision season at St. Clair Memorial Hall, a concert by The Hitmen, five musicians who helped make hits you know and love by bands such as Foreigner, Journey, Styx, and Cheap Trick.
CeCelia Rice believes that memorable art evokes emotion, whether the feelings inspired are disturbing or bring a sense of peace. She is eagerly looking forward to providing Anna Bier Gallery members and visitors opportunity for that meaningful sensory reaction, and hopes to see you at the gallery soon.