DARKE COUNTY — Two Cincinnati-area artists will be featured in the upcoming “Art at the Mill” exhibit which opens Friday, July 28 in the Clark Gallery, with an opening night reception from 6 until 8 p.m., offering 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. Historic Bear’s Mill will host multi-media artist Liz Zorn whose work is a combination of Color Field, Abstract Expressionist, and Modern Mark Making disciplines, and sculptor John Leon.
According to Marti Goetz, Executive Director of Friends of Bear’s Mill, these highly successful artists create exciting work that invites further examination.
“Liz paints expressive pieces that directly communicate to the viewer even when not containing direct images, while John borrows from the entire world of art history for inspiration as he works with clay, stone, and wood to create pieces that can be classically realistic or abstractly expressionistic,” Goetz explained. “We are thrilled to be showing their amazing work in our rustic setting here at the Mill.”
Sculpture-lovers who have visited Pyramid Hill Sculpture Park in Hamilton have already experienced the work of John Leon, whose statue of the park’s founder Harry Wilks is a highlight at the site. His first large scale commission came in 1996 when noted wildlife artist John Ruthven asked the former respiratory therapist to sculpt an eagle from drawings he had done for installation at Wright Patterson Air Force Base. His wide-ranging work includes many media and styles, varying from classical realism to abstract expressionism, using nature as a source of inspiration to convey spiritual or philosophical ideas whether or not the resulting sculpture assumes a realistic form.
“We are very lucky to have a sculptor with such local fame; John’s sculptures are fabulous. He will be exhibiting vessels in bronze, Tennessee and Indiana limestone, cast sand and American ash. His works are fun and are worth a visit to the Mill and perhaps make their way into a local home,” Jan Roestamadji, Gallery Coordinator adds.
Liz Zorn said that she loves texture, and especially enjoys working with a minimal palette, seeking to create work that is “in the moment” like the flow of life. After winning a poster contest when she was in the fourth grade, she began taking painting classes in Indianapolis and has continued to paint ever since, branching out into printmaking and photography along the way. She lists Robert Motherwell, Cy Twombly, Joan Mitchell, and JMW Turner as her major influences as she continues to evolve as an artist and as a human being. Her goal is to tangibly capture that “always present, always elusive thing,” which she labels “the ghost in the room,” knowing that her quest is not possible, but finding joy in the attempt.
“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. “Art At the Mill” receives funding from Darke County Endowment for the Arts. 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.org.