I recently visited the Dayton Art Institute’s special exhibit, “Beyond the Fold,” featuring the creations of nine international origami artists. As you probably know, origami is the art of folding paper into sculptural forms, creating objects and installations that can range from simple artistic expression to complex concepts. The captivating show was pleasantly mind-blowing; my favorite piece literally made me dizzy as I happily explored its endless array of folds and angles until the piece’s twists and turns led me totally off balance.
Although I would highly recommend a drive to Dayton to experience this delightfully dizzying show, Darke Countians do not need to leave their home community to enjoy fine art. In addition to the exhibits mounted in the Anna Bier Gallery throughout Darke County Center for the Arts’ season of presentations at Henry St. Clair Memorial Hall, other enriching opportunities are readily at hand. “Art At the Mill” exhibits in which two-dimensional pieces are shown along with complementary three-dimensional work at historic Bear’s Mill have long delighted Mill visitors; the current season of “Art At the Mill” opened the Final Friday of March, with a new show beginning the Final Friday of each month through November 30.
Both of the artists included in the current exhibit at the Mill’s Clark Gallery are incredibly creative souls with life-long interest in making art; their highly imaginative work with its exuberant color and striking forms inherently inspires joy in the viewer. Dayton artist Mikee Huber describes her paintings as “controlled chaos,” which she believes reflects the reality of the busy lives lived by modern humans. Pools of color inhabit her abstract landscapes, most of which remain untitled to allow viewers to establish their own personal connections with the work. Armed with the belief that “glass can be anything,” glassblower Dustin Wagner is inspired by the endless possibilities of his medium. His sketchbooks are filled with ideas which the inventive Springfield resident eventually breathes into life; unique concepts are transformed into striking colorful pieces, all of which are interesting and many of which are breathtakingly beautiful.
The work of Mikee Huber and Dustin Wagner will remain on display through Sunday, April 23, so you still have time to partake; then, on Friday, April 27, more exciting art will move into the gallery. Charming, quirky clay sculpture by Wilberforce resident Tara Anderson will share space with “Industrial Rustic” photographs printed on distressed metal by Robert Coomer of Batavia. Once again, artistic creativity will be on display as the pots and bottles intuitively designed by Ms. Anderson and Mr. Coomer’s “living pieces of art” are enhanced by the old mill and its aura. Each exhibit opens with an artists’ reception where tasty finger foods and drinks are served from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.; these casual yet elegant evenings attract people from Troy, Piqua, Dayton, and beyond, and are well worth the drive—but you don’t have to travel far to partake of this local bounty.
But wait, there’s more! The creative endeavor of several Greenville Art Guild members is on display at the Welcome Center in downtown Greenville; each of the diverse paintings uplifts spirits with distinctive beauty. Isabel Culbertson’s brilliantly colorful sunflowers happily arrayed in a transparent vase and Marilyn Banks’ captivating impressionistic study of an orange are among the wondrous discoveries that await within the cozy space. Nancy Foureman’s watercolor entitled “Blues In Motion” depicts brilliant blue butterflies flitting among lush yellow blossoms; Kay Cress has rendered two lifelike portraits of pets, a Labrador Retriever and a tabby cat, that just beg to be patted and petted. Sandy Cable-Barringer’s iridescent oil,“Swinging Bridge,” realistically re-creates the iconic Greenville City Park feature, and Lois Monroe’s striking “Amish Barn “ warmly depicts a familiar farm scene in brilliant color.
Marilyn Delk is a director of the Darke County Center for the Arts and can be reached at email@example.com. Viewpoints expressed in the article are the work of the author. The Daily Advocate does not endorse these viewpoints or the independent activities of the author.