Thursday, July 14, 2011


New pottery by Julie Clark, Rita Wiley, and Loretta Wray will be on display at historic Bear's Mill July 29 through August 21. This “Art at the Mill” exhibit will also feature watercolors and pastels painted by local artist Selena Burk. The exhibit opens with a Friday night reception from 6 till 9 p.m. where patrons will have the opportunity to meet with the artists while partaking of hors d'oeuvres and drinks.

Selena Burk, who lives in rural Darke County, says that she seeks to share the beauty that she sees around her with others. Her realistic paintings colorfully depict nature and architecture, allowing her subjects to communicate directly with viewers. “Selena's beautiful work inspires joy and peace, transporting viewers to a lovely place,” explained Mill spokesperson Julie Clark. “We are quite proud to be able to share her outstanding paintings with visitors to Bear's Mill,” Mrs. Clark said.

Julie Clark has resided at and maintained a private pottery studio on the Bear's Mill property for 30 years; during that time she has gained a loyal following which eagerly awaits each cycle of her ever-evolving creations. The busy artist, who also manages the Mill Store and Gallery, says that her livelihood in clay offers an exciting and challenging experience. “Clay offers endless possibilities and is in the forefront of my interests,” states Mrs. Clark. Her pieces are known for their grace and form, as well as an elegant simplicity which appears natural and uncomplicated.

Rita Wiley started making pottery thirty years ago, and remains excited about the essential elements of her craft. “Pottery's beauty and usefulness rely on the ancient elements of earth, air, fire and water – plus the touch of the human hand,” Mrs. Wiley said. “Although I appreciate purely decorative pieces, I find a kind of purity of purpose in pieces that are aesthetically appealing and useful at the same time,” she concluded.

Functional pieces that can be used on a daily basis are the specialty of former Troy resident Loretta Wray, who now resides on a small farm near New Castle Indiana, where she has installed a salt/soda kiln for firing her pottery. “Using handmade pottery makes me feel a connection with people and with nature, and helps me appreciate the beauty that's all around me,” Mrs. Wray says. “I hope that when people take a piece of my pottery home, that they use it and enjoy it,” she states.

Limited edition photographs, original sculpture, and innovative videos created by Darke County native Natalie Wetzel and Michigan resident Jan Kruszewski remain on display at the Mill through Sunday, July 24. “Art at the Mill” is on view during regular Mill store hours: 11 a.m. till 5 p.m. Tuesdays through Fridays and Sundays, and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Bear's Mill is operated by the Friends of Bear's Mill, a non-profit organization, and is located at 6450 Arcanum-Bear's Mill Road about 5 miles east of Greenville. For more information, contact Bear's Mill

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