Mobiles, abstract paintings featured at Bear’s Mill


DARKE COUNTY – The upcoming installment of “Art at the Mill” on display from Aug. 31 through Sept. 23 will feature intriguing mobiles by Dayton-area architect Terry Welker along with the dynamic abstract paintings of his friend and art partner Ron Rollins, who since 1986 has worked as a writer and editor at Dayton Daily News.

This exhibit in the Clark Gallery at historic Bear’s Mill opens on the final Friday of August with a reception from 6 p.m. 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. “Art at the Mill,” curated by Jan Roestamadji and Julie Clark, is free and open to the public.

According to Clark, Welker’s fascinating mobiles, inspired by the natural world, will animate the Mill space with their form and motion.

“His simple, yet elegant designs of all sizes use curves, arcs and lines to draw three-dimensionally in space, delighting the eye and the spirit,” Clark said.

Roestamadji said Rollins’ highly colorful paintings inspire happiness, evoking joy in the viewer.

“Ron’s bold, strong and freeing acrylic paintings have garnered a following among art enthusiasts of every genre,” Roestamadji said. “I am thrilled that the work of these exceptional artists who share a studio in Kettering will enliven our Clark Gallery and hope that viewers will be inspired to consider enlarging their own collections with their outstanding work.”

Rollins said he tries to capture and convey the magic of a single moment in his highly gestural and spontaneous work, which pays tribute to the great abstract expressionists of the 20th century. He also is influenced by the work of his mother, Barbara, a well-known watercolorist; however, his vivid colors highlighted by bright splashes of paint are distinctly different from the realistic work of his mom.

“I tend to paint right out of the tube, mixing colors directly on the canvas. I’ll very quickly throw, squirt, smear, smudge, spatter and flick paint to create a scene that expresses motion, light and energy,” he said.

His works are often untitled because he doesn’t want his thinking to crowd out other interpretations and takes pleasure in discovering new perspectives of his work provided by viewers.

Building on the tradition of iconic mobile artist Alexander Calder, Welker creates his work by experimenting, using trial and error to allow form to emerge.

“Making mobiles comes from my passion for architecture, poetic space and meaningful places,” he said.

After completing his graduate work at the University of Cincinnati in 1987, the architect/artist continued teaching design and drawing at UC for several years; his teaching background and architectural knowledge inform his work, which enhances many public spaces throughout Ohio and beyond. His most recent major installation is the highly acclaimed “Fractal Rain” at the new Dayton Metro Library; composed of 5 miles of stainless steel wire, Swarovski crystals and one-third mile of extruded acrylic prisms, the piece beautifully fills the library’s atrium with the movement of driving rain.

Striking mosaics crafted from slate and stone by Cincinnati area artist Peggy Schuning and rustic hewn stone pieces created by Harold Wiley remain on display at Bear’s Mill through Aug. 26. “Art at the Mill” is funded in part by a grant from Darke County Endowment for the Arts. Historic Bear’s Mill, owned and operated by Friends of Bear’s Mill, is located at 6450 Arcanum-Bear’s Mill Road about 5 miles east of Greenville; current hours of operation are Sundays 1 to 5 p.m., and 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

For more information, contact Bear’s Mill at 937-548-5112 or www.bearsmill.org.