Ohio Plein Air Society artwork in juried exhibit at Capital University
On a lovely summer day, I was walking through Inniswood Metro Gardens and discovered dozens and dozens of outdoor painters capturing scenes of trees, flowers, waterfalls and bridges. There seemed to be an artist about every 10 feet, with camp stools, easels and palettes, putting their watercolors and oils to use in plein air pursuit. They looked to be having a marvelous time.
I found out later that they were members of Central Ohio Plein Air. But many of them are also members of the Ohio Plein Air Society, a group of about 150 painters that was established in 2002 and has members from every county in the state. A sampling of works by artists from that state group is on view in “A Brush with the Past: Painting Ohio’s History,” through Dec. 9, in Capital University’s Schumacher Gallery.
As the exhibit title indicates, the works – 66 pieces by 37 artists – capture locations, many of them historic, from around Ohio. Paul Hamilton, a well-known Granville-based artist, juried the exhibit, selecting the works to be included and the award winners.
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Taking first place was Marianne Miller with her oil painting “Granville Spring,” a gentle and nostalgic street scene including a church and pink-blooming trees. Craig Stauffer placed second with “Unseasonably Warm,” capturing in oil a farmhouse against fall colors on rolling hills. And Justin Collamore, the society’s president, was third-place winner with his portrait of “Old Mill Piqua.”
Many more appealing paintings can be found in this exhibit..
Jeff Stahler, a former board member of the society who recently moved from Columbus to Colorado, has several pieces in the show including “Schiller Park” and “German Village Stroll,” scenes from the neighborhood in which he used to live.
Bob Maurer reproduced the “Boston (Ohio) Township Hall 1887” in watercolor, painting the light-gray building in autumn.
A “200-Year-Old Barn” by Katherine Gray Farthing presents in accomplished oils a white barn with shadows playing on its surface.
In Robin Roberts’ oil painting “Steps to Mansion,” the pink of the building and the greens of the trees and shrubs surrounding it pop with color.
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In contrast to daylight-filled paintings, Candice Vanschoyck showed “Kingswood Mansion Mansfield” on a dark day, with a deep blue sky that looks threatening. Angela Gage’s “Creekside,” rendered in soft pastels, is a nighttime vertical scene of a building, bridge and cascading water.
All the artists worked according to their society’s guidelines: that paintings should be 95% completed outside, on location and from direct observation; no photography allowed. Paintings must resemble the location and multiple sessions are allowed.
Created within these parameters, all the works demonstrate an appreciation of the outdoors and man-made structures that cohabit with nature. The paintings also seem to reflect the joy felt by those who carry their equipment outside in all kinds of weather to pursue their art.
At a glance
“A Brush with the Past: Painting Ohio’s History” continues through Dec. 9, in Capital University’s Schumacher Gallery, fourth floor of Capital’s Library, 1 College and E. Main Street, Bexley. Hours: noon to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 1 to 4:30 p.m. Saturdays. The gallery will be closed Oct. 13-16 and Nov. 23-27. Call 614-236-6319 or visit www.schumachergallery.org.