Art formed from stone on Display at Bear’s Mill


DARKE COUNTY – “Art At the Mill” will display mosaics crafted from slate and stone by Cincinnati area artist Peggy Schuning along with hewn stone pieces created by Harold Wiley at an exhibit in the Clark Gallery from July 27 through Aug. 26.

This exhibit at historic Bear’s Mill opens on the final Friday of July with a 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. “Art at the Mill,” curated by Jan Roestamadji and Julie Clark, is free and open to the public.

According to Roestamadji, this will be an exciting exhibit.

“Peggy Schuning’s use of stone in her 2-D mosaics that bring to life an historic art handed down by generations is pleasing to the eye as well as the intellect,” the volunteer curator said. “Harold Wiley’s hewn stone pieces promise architectural design along with function that will pique interest. As well, both artists’ gallery talks should prove to be equally informative, inspirational and educational. I personally love that they both will share their stories of learning art that has been around for centuries.”

Clark expressed her pleasure to be presenting this unique and innovative work for visitors to discover and enjoy in the surrounding natural beauty that abounds at Bear’s Mill.

Wiley will display rustic sculptural pieces created from feather rock, a lightweight volcanic stone, as well as hewn stone bird baths and benches, which are intended to enhance landscapes and lawns. Although the retired journalist also sculpts pieces from wire as well as the more traditional clay, porcelain and wood, this exhibit will focus solely on stone.

The Indianapolis native fittingly lives in a stone house on the hill above Bear’s Mill with his wife, Rita, who is one of the Millrace Potters whose work is available at the Mill store. Motivated by nature to create, Wiley said his feather rock planters were inspired by observing lone plants emerging from the massive expanse of stone bridges hovering over the English canals on which he recently traveled.

Scenic and historic Bear’s Mill provided inspiration for one of the pieces created by Schuning. “Water Falls” is a strikingly beautiful triptych that represents roaring water as it falls and hits the land; the piece evokes wonder and joy in the viewer.

Much of Schuning’s stone mosaic art is made with assorted sizes of slate and marble that was previously utilized as roofing or flooring.

“As an artist, I enjoy uncovering a masterpiece in the broken, discarded or unused pieces of daily life,” she said.

She studies the natural allure of the elements she utilizes, focusing on the beauty of each element, then calls attention to the textures and movement she has observed as she creates her award-winning work.

The abstract and realistic sculpture of Yellow Springs artist Alice Robrish and vividly colorful paintings by Carol MacConnell of Cincinnati remain on display at Bear’s Mill through July 22.

“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.