At the Wassenberg . . .

From Hope Wallace, Executive Director

     The list of individuals we are grateful is growing long. Thank you to Gary Showalter and Jerry Mazur both of Van Wert who removed salvageable interior doors at the armory and delivered them to Jay Gamble at The Finishing Touch, Van Wert, to receive a make-over. Prior to that a crew consisting of Matt Temple, Dan McMahon and Pete Weir helped heave the pair of original, 300 pound steel front doors onto a truck and hauled to Larry McClure in Delphos to see about getting them updated for today’s accessibility codes and weatherproofed. In addition, thanks to the many who are turning up to create ceramic tiles for the front steps, restrooms and other areas within the armory.

     Thanks to David Clayborn, District Manager of Pizza Hut who hosted the pizza party to thank students of Vantage Career Center for their help in completing the demolition inside the armory this past fall. Larry Wendel of the Van Wert County Foundation was in attendance and presented the Buildings & Grounds department with a donation to the program. It was great to see the young people again and talk about their plans and ideas we have for the armory grounds in the future.

Detail of Filtered Light, Ohio Watercolor Society Bronze Medal Winner by Paul St. Denis, Bay Village

Detail of Filtered Light, Ohio Watercolor Society Bronze Medal Winner by Paul St. Denis, Bay Village

     The Ohio Watercolor Society traveling exhibit will open on March 9 and continue through March 31, 2013. We invite you to attend the public opening reception on March 9 running from 1:00 to 3:00 pm. where refreshment will be provided. The exhibit is comprised of approximately 40 of Ohio’s best watercolor paintings. Winners of this competition go on to compete in national level competitions of the prestigious American Watercolor completion. The artists from all over Ohio and some border states that are represented in this show are just another shining example of the powerful talent Ohio has to offer. Additionally, we are excited to be hosting the future American Watercolor Society exhibit in early 2015.

     During the opening reception of the OWS exhibit on March 9, we invite you to make a ceramic tile while you’re here. We are creating 2” x 6” handmade tiles for use in and around our future home, the Van Wert Armory. At 6 p.m. we are gathering to create more tiles after the Ohio Watercolor opening reception. We have 177 linear feet to complete so we welcome your efforts. Creating tiles is not only for artists, so if you have ever wanted to try your hand at pottery here is your chance! Many areas will be viewed for the potential to celebrate our local culture and the Wassenberg Art Center is a great place to showcase such a community effort.tom lynch image

     We are very excited to be hosting a watercolor workshop presented by world-renowned watercolorist, Tom Lynch ( . Mr. Lynch will be presenting a watercolor workshop from August 6-9 of this year. The workshop begins in the morning and lasts most of the day with a break for lunch. If you are interested in signing up for this rare opportunity please give us a call at the number below. Costs are $125 per day with a 3-day minimum commitment. We will be at our new location by then and can’t wait to use that space for such an art expansion occasion.

     Editor’s note: The below review by Pat Rayman was taken from artist Lynch’s website:

 A Salute to Tom Lynch from a Workshop Student

     “I enjoy participating in watercolor workshops. I strongly believe you need to be always listening, do much note-taking and keep observing. Of course, you are also there to paint which is one of the main reasons. However, for me and many others, the true test of your ability and what you have learned – comes when you are away from the sights and sounds of a workshop, on your own, alone in your own studio.

     Weeks before the workshop even began, the thought of being in the same room with Tom, made me feel excited, anxious and nervous. But all my fears were all dismissed on the first day, right at the door! There was the famous Tom Lynch with a smiling face, greeting everyone as he handed out our name tags. What a nice person, I thought.

“Venice Glow”, watercolor by Tom Lynch.

“Venice Glow”, watercolor by Tom Lynch.

     During the time I was setting up, Tom circled the room with much friendly talk mixed with some good-nature joking with his students. Again, what a nice person, I thought.

     At each work station, was a signed Tom Lynch water bowl that was filled with information, drawing pencils and other materials for us to use. What a nice touch, I thought. Also, looking around the room, I could see a number of Tom’s impressive paintings. I thought, only if I could afford a Lynch on my walls! Someday.

     The first day demonstration and introduction came next. Tom’s easy going friendly manner made everyone feel welcome and comfortable. He said, “I am going to overwhelm you with information.” And he sure did! Over the four days, I recorded twelve pages of notes! I know I will refer to these often when I am creating my works as well as taught to my students.

     Tom’s demonstrations were overwhelming, however he repeated information that was important, and his manner of speech was crystal clear. There was never any doubt of what he was saying.

     Eventually it was our turn to paint, although I could have watched him all day, which left some of us feeling a bit awkward, but not for long – because – Tom lightened up the room with much encouragement and a generous positive re-inforcement.

      On the second day, I remember standing at my table, with a brush full of paint in my frozen hand. I was trying to process what I have learned, but nothing was happening. I looked up and saw Tom heading my way. I applied the loaded brush to my paper and blended the colors. Tom looked at my work and said, “I like it.” After a long pause, I turned to my friend Kay and said, ‘what did I do?’ Kay responded quickly, “Just do it again.”

     By the third day, I was rewarded with a feeling of peace because it was all coming together.

     From day one, Tom was a fountain of information, always inspiring his students. He talked about his family as he worked. He made everyone feel important with his own unique personal touch.

      Finally, about a week later, I am in my studio referring to my notes, the watercolor excercises and color charts. I am amazed about how much I have learned about watercolor in a fun way. I know my work will improve because I learned from a great artist, exceptional teacher and a really nice down-to-earth guy!” 

     On April 24, the Niswonger Performing Arts Center will have international National Geographic, photographer Joel Sartore for a color saturated presentation on photographing some of the worlds most exotic wildlife and another event, “Remembering Rockwell”, presented by Ceci Wiselogel and scheduled for March 14 at 1:30 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. For ticket information,  — Tickets are only $5 and this is a great way to learn more about America’s favorite illustrator, Norman Rockwell and is the next best thing to a Rockwell museum visit.

     If you have any questions regarding the classes or programs and would like to sign up please call the Wassenberg Art Center at: 419.238.6837, email: or register for classes online at: Hours during exhibits are: Tuesday through Sunday 1–5 p.m. The Wassenberg Art Center is located at 643 South Washington Street in Van Wert, Ohio.

Published by on March 2013. Filed under Archives, At the Centers dept, Northwest Passage Record/NWPR, Ohio, PaletteBoards Section. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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