Exhibit Schumacher Gallery
Painters rely on scenery
Sunday, November 23, 2008 3:56 AM
By Jacqueline Hall

For The Columbus Dispatch

Commenting about his experiences painting outdoors in southern France, Vincent van Gogh wrote to his brother:
"I feel no weariness in spite of the really wearisome circumstances, mistral and mosquitoes. . . . If a view makes you forget these little annoyances, it must have something in it."
Members of the Ohio Plein Air Society must share his opinion. They have produced the delightful paintings on display in the Schumacher Gallery at Capital University in Bexley.
The society, a nonprofit organization founded in 2002 by a small group of artists and patrons, today includes more than 180 artists who come from Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Pennsylvania. All share a love of nature and art.
Gallery director Cassandra Tellier curated the exhibit, selecting works that focus on the diversity and uniqueness of the Ohio landscape. Paintings, representing a variety of mediums and styles, were done on location.
They are fresh, spontaneous, sensitive and imaginative.
Maria White's Turk's Cap Lilies is an animated close-up of pink, yellow and orange flowers. Richard Clem's Fresh Snow Walnut Street and 605 is a bold, expressionistic winter scene. Barbara Chenault's Amish Corn Shocks is richly painted.
Other works capture the conditions that prevailed as the artists painted. Gary Chaconas' Summer Afternoon conveys a heavy, humid August atmosphere through thick, painterly brushstrokes. In Windswept Over Lake Erie, Elaine Freeman translates with brio an irresistible breeze and a hazy setting sun.
George W. Leach's Somerset Red Barn is tightly representative but charmingly moody. Mitzi Lai's Canyon Lake is strongly abstract but still powerful.
Viewers might wonder at the presence of three lovely river scenes by Columbus artist Michael McEwan. Originally a mentor to some of the members, he is an honorary member of the Ohio Plein Air Society.

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• "The Ohio Plein Air Society" continues through Dec. 5 at the Schumacher Gallery in the Blackmore Library of Capital University, College Avenue at E. Main Street, Bexley. Hours: 1 to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays (closed Nov. 26-29). Call 614-236-6319 or visit www.schumachergallery.org.

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