Sunday, March 10, 2013


“Art At the Mill” begins a new season with an exhibit which will run from Friday, March 29 through Sunday, April 21 at historic Bear's Mill. Painter Elaine Balsley will display work focused around “The Flavor of Italy,” while clay artist Rick Paldino's exhibit will feature pottery enhanced by hand-carved wood. Due to observance of Good Friday, the artists' reception which usually accompanies the opening will not occur until Friday, April 5 when light appetizers and wine will be served from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m.

According to Julie Clark, retail manager and gallery coordinator for Bear's Mill, Ms. Balsley's paintings will not only include intimate looks at chapels, homes, and scenery encountered in Italy, but also serene still lifes and vibrant florals with an Italian flavor. Elaine Balsley says that she is particularly inspired by the Impressionists, especially Monet, Degas, and Cassatt, and strives to achieve the level of feeling those painters expressed. “Elaine enjoys creating art in all media and of any genre; that joy in creation is easily discernible in her impressive body of work,” said Mrs. Clark.

Rick Paldino was introduced to clay while in high school, and instantly knew that he had found his calling. After graduating from Wright State University, the potter taught and worked in Nashville, Tennessee, and Canton, Ohio, before moving to Troy, Ohio, where he continues to create functional and decorative pieces. Mr. Paldino says that incorporating wood into his work for the past couple of years has provided new challenges which stimulate creativity. “I am excited about the new work coming out of my exploration and pleased with the results,” he stated.

Bear's Mill has presented “Art At the Mill” for several years, and in 2008 created a designated gallery space for these exhibits which have over the years featured a wide variety of work by diverse area artists. “Art At the Mill” will continue through December; upcoming exhibits include pottery by Julie Clark, Dionne Fleming, Rita Wiley, and Loretta Wray coupled with watercolor paintings by Roger Haas in May, pulled prints and pastels by Andrea Starkey and wood-fired clay vessels by Patrick Rademaker during June, and contemporary hand prints by Molly Mote paired with contemporary metal sculpture by Jeff Rutledge in July. Rustic willow furniture and home accessories by Greg Adams will fill the gallery in August, and Ohio farm landscapes by Jane Dippole plus lighting sculptures by Jay Harrison will be shown in September.

Tom Heephy and Vicki Rulli will show their limited edition photographs in October along with jewelry, teapots and utensils created by metal smiths Nathan and Linda Jones. Acrylic paintings by Doug Fiely will be exhibited in November alongside hand-blown glass vessels by Brent Cole, and the final show of the year will have Jim Witmer's photographs displayed with Dave Kirchner's clay sculptures.

“Art At the Mill” has received funding from the Ami McClurkin Community Fund, held by the HOPE Foundation of Darke County, and also receives support from Darke County Endowment for the Arts. The art exhibit is on view during regular Mill store hours, 11 a.m. till 5 p.m. daily. Historic Bear's Mill is operated by The Friends of Bear's Mill, Inc., 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 at 937-548-5112 or

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