Crary hosts trio of shows simultaneously

The Crary Art Gallery will feature three artists in its new show. The opening will be highlighted by a reception open to the public on Saturday, May 10, from 6 to 8 p.m.

Mikel Wintermantel

Mikel Wintermantel’s exhibition “Introspection, Retrospection and a New Perspective” will feature paintings by the Allegany, N.Y., artist completed since he recovered from a serious illness.

Wintermantel went to Rhode Island School of Design for traditional sign art, the Rochester Institute of Technology for printmaking and is a Copley Master painter of the Copley Society in Boston. He actually gave up painting for 12 years along the way.

“I decided to start painting again 14 years ago when my daughter was born,” he said adding “I’ve always been a painter, I just never really pursued it.”

He picked up the brush again and started showing his landscapes at local shows all the while reading and looking at catalogs of his contemporaries and thought “I can do that.”

“I can paint like that,” he said.

He became a Copley Master at the oldest non profit art organization in the country, which opened a lot of doors.

All the works featured at the Crary Gallery were completed since he recovered from his illness.

“My impression and my introspection is always present whenever I paint,” he said. “It shows in my work and how I actually accomplish the work now…it almost seems easier to paint now.”

His work at the Crary will feature quite a few new pieces and represent “moments I didn’t know what my future was going to be.”

All the frames for the pieces he built himself and most of the paintings are views from about a 100 mile radius of his home. His paintings are influenced by American Luminism and the Hudson River School of painting, he said.

He continues to teach worships mostly in Boston and Newport, Rhode Island.

“I look forward to the opportunity, it’s a beautiful gallery. I”m excited,” he said.

“They glow with the heartfelt yearning and appreciation for the world that difficult moments bring so clearly into focus,” Crary Art Gallery Vice President Thomas Paquette said of Mikel’s work. “Working in a traditional vein, Mikel is classical painter who can hit the high and low notes with perfection. You can see in his work his attention to somber and reflective moments, as well as those moments simply given to the joy of being. His work is shown all over the country and very highly regarded.”

Wintermantel will attend the opening at the Crary and his exhibition will continue Sunday, May 11, through Saturday, May 31.

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Merry Ryding

Mother and daughter Merry and Drea Ryding will show their art together for the first time in a duo show at the Crary titled “Exploring Inside and Out.”

Sunday, May 11 through Saturday, May 31, 2014

Merry Ryding was born on the northwest coast of Alaska and lives and works in Kane, Pa. and with variety of media including encaustic, collage, egg tempera, and woodcut prints. She attended the Seattle Pacific College for Studio Art and received an M.A. in combined art history and studio art from Vermont College in Montpelier.

Ryding’s work in encaustic, a technique of painting with melted wax to build up layers and texture, exemplifies the “exploring out” aspect of the show. “I enjoy embedding thin papers, and layer with both opaque and translucent hot wax. I mix my own colors, using raw and manufactured pure pigments suspended in a medium of beeswax and damar resin,” she said about the technique on her website. “A favorite find: recently at a yard sale I found a very old can of ‘bronzing powder.’ After looking it up I find that it is made of powdered mica. It adds a wonderful shimmer to the wax layers.”

Her work at the Crary will feature impressions of different national parks.

“I love to his the road and go see what’s out there,” she said. “I hit the backroads and kind of get a feel for the area.”

Ryding is out on the road as often as she can and prefers hiking to take it all in and uses photographs and water color sketches on site before heading back to the studio in Kane.

“A lot of the sketchwork is on the road, then I come back to the studio and put it together,” she said.

In addition to studio work Merry is the Pennsylvania Route 6 Artisan Trail Coordinator, teaches Art Survey classes as an adjunct professor at the University of Pittsburgh at Bradford and directs the ArtWorks at the Depot Artists’ cooperative in Kane.

“This will be really fun and it’s such a nice gallery space there,” she said of the Crary. “We’re really looking forward to it.”

“I met Merry while we were helping an arts organization, and later liked what I saw of the art that she sent us, which seemed would have an enthusiastic audience here at the Crary,” Paquette said. “We are so fortunate to have her work and that of her daughter Drea, also an accomplished artist and back from Texas. It was a combination we had to ask them to do for Mother’s Day!”

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Drea Ryding

Drea Ryding grew up in Kane working with clay and continues to do so. She has a degree in studio art with a concentration in ceramics from Allegheny College. She worked at Campbell Pottery in Cambridge Springs, Pa. before moving to Austin, Tx., where she worked in the Feats of Clay pottery and also Sunset Canyon Pottery.

“Clay has always held a certain magic for me. I think it’s because of the physical nature of the medium,” she said. “It has the capability to possess space whether it is a thrown vessel or a sculpture, yet it can become any form in an artists hands.”

She has been working with mixed media since returning to Kane, partly due to necessity and partly out of a “long time love of drawing, painting, and sketch books.”

The immediacy and sense of image collection in her work that suits her subject matter, which she described as a Jungian experience, “a bit unusual, surreal in subject matter.”

“Though some of the images may seem serious or uncomfortable, I try to not have the work end up feeling heavy or solemn at the same time. It’s of the same philosophy I have in life now,” she said.

She has never shown her work in Warren before and will attend the opening reception with her mother.

“I am forever grateful that she supports my creativity and inspires me with her work,” she said.

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“Exploring Inside and Out” works by Merry Ryding and Drea Ryding will continue Sunday, May 11 through Saturday, May 31. The opening reception will be on Saturday, May 10, from 6 to 8 p.m. and will include an artists’ talk at 7 p.m.