Teacher and former student share the spotlight at Bear’s Mill

Staff report

GREENVILLE — Pottery by Franklin-Monroe art teacher Scott Thayer will be displayed at Bear’s Mill alongside the oil paintings of his former student Vincent Saulnier in an exhibit opening Friday, Oct. 29 with a reception from 6 to 8 p.m. at which the artists will share information about their work, methods, and inspiration in brief talks beginning at 7 p.m. The exhibit continues through Sunday, Nov. 21. “Art At the Mill,” curated by Jan Roestamadji and Julie Clark, is free and open to the public.

Ms. Clark, a potter herself, admires the work created by Scott Thayer: “His wheel thrown and hand-built pottery transcends its inherent earthiness with a grace and beauty that wins appreciation for its eye appeal as well as its utility,” she said. “He also has earned many supporters in our community as a much-loved teacher who enables his students’creativity and spurs interest in the arts.”

“Vincent Saulnier’s lovely work captures and enhances the reality he sees on a daily basis, and is easily relatable for viewers as they first experience the beauty and then sense the emotional resonance of the work,” explained Ms. Roestamadji. “His pictures are very easy to live with and treasure, and will enrich any home or office with their presence,” she stated.

Prior to receiving his teaching credentials from Wright State University, Scott Thayer held 27 different jobs ranging from sous chef to factory worker; although he didn’t really think he was cut out to be a teacher, he soon learned to love the vocation he has been pursuing for the past 24 years. He has been drawing since he could first hold a pencil and always had the desire to make stuff, eventually discovering that his inherent passion for his work motivates his students to create their own art. He holds a Masters of Art Education with a focus in ceramics and sculpture, but also enjoys painting and photography. The self-deprecating artist is pleased to note that many of his former pupils are now his good friends, and praises his cohort in this exhibit as one of the most talented students he has mentored.

Vincent Saulnier says that his body of work has become a visual diary of his life, its challenges, and its beauty. After graduating from Franklin-Monroe, the Darke County resident achieved an arts degree from Sinclair College, and was awarded a prestigious Yeck Fellowship earning a display of his work at Dayton Art Institute. Today, the busy father of two little girls paints every night that he can after returning home from his day job which utilizes the artist’s other degree — in electro-mechanical engineering. The diverse paintings in this exhibit are wide-ranging, but centered around his family, especially his wife Allison, who is a physical therapist working as Assistant Director of Rehabilitation for a home health agency. As Vincent continues to pursue his passion for the arts, his impressionistic yet realistic work focusing on color and light captures memories on canvas, sharing the visual expressions of his life with the world.

Striking nature photographs by Tim Freeman will remain on display at the Mill through Sunday, Oct. 24; most of the images on exhibit were photographed at Mt. Airy Forest, Cincinnati’s largest and oldest city park. The Clark Gallery and the Mill Shop are operated by Friends of Bear’s Mill; the Mill and surrounding grounds are the newest addition to Darke County Parks. Bear’s Mill is located at 6450 Arcanum-Bear’s Mill Road, about 5 miles east of Greenville. “Art At the Mill” is funded in part by a grant from Darke County Endowment for the Arts, and can be viewed during regular Mill store hours, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesdays and Wednesdays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursdays through Saturdays, and from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. on Sundays. The park and trails are open daily from 8 a.m. until sunset. For more information, contact Bear’s Mill at 937-548-5112 or www.bearsmill.org.