Local art will tour the state

Their brush strokes ooze with move-ment and color. Their subjects range from the real to the abstract. In nine instances, their paintings caught the eye of the judges.

Their brush strokes ooze with movement and color. Their subjects range from the real to the abstract. In nine instances, their paintings caught the eye of the judges.

Members of the Sky High Arts program at MATCO in London submitted entries to VSA arts of Ohio’s “Accessible Expressions Ohio” contest. The statewide juried contest celebrates the creativity of people with disabilities. This is the first year MATCO has participated.

The local artists whose pieces were selected will travel to the Toledo Botanical Garden on March 8 for the opening of the exhibit. The ceremony will include the announcement of the first-, second- and third-place winners in three categories (professional, emerging, and youth), as well as Best In Show.

Afterwards, the artwork will be divided into sections and go on tour at sites around Ohio. MATCO will host one of those tour stops for the month of November.

The MATCO artists up for awards are: Roy D. Austin for “Tree Line,” Rebecca Bell for “Stormy Seas” and “Flutter By,” Jim Dillion for “Morning Tree,” Arnold J. Large for “Santa’s Workshop,” Steve Shingler for “Twister,” Kenny Stischok for “Up in Heaven,” Bryan Thompson for “Seeing Red” and Bob Watson for “Untitled.”

Flutterby by Rebecca Bell
Stormy Seas by Rebecca Bell
Santa’s Workshop by Arnold J. Large
Tree Line by Roy Austin 

Alice Kennedy, coordinator of MATCO’s Sky High Arts program, volunteer art instructor Harry Croghan, and local photographer Bob Rea, will travel with the artists to the Toledo ceremony. Kennedy said she is proud of the artists and their work.

“Jim takes his time and is very meticulous,” Kennedy said, noting that Dillion’s painting, “Morning Tree,” took him two hours to complete.

“Steve was tentative at first when he started our Friday painting classes,” Kennedy said of Shingler. “He’d make a single brush stroke and wait for encouragement. Now, as soon as we ask if he wants to paint, it’s everything we can do to keep up with him. He loves to paint; he fills every corner of the canvas.”

Austin’s “Tree Line” entry was his first try at using acrylic paint. The trees stand out almost as silhouettes against a vivid sunset and cloudy sky.

 Untitled by Bob Watson

The two pieces Bell has in the show are very different from one another. One is a brightly colored butterfly; the other is an abstract body of water with rocks and white-capped waves. She said she enjoyed picking out a hot pink frame for the butterfly.

For Watson, a recurring theme is patriotism. The civic-minded man almost exclusively paints in red, white and blue. His exhibition piece is a slight diversion; he swapped the blue for black.

Artwork in the “Accessible Expressions” tour, including those created by the Madison County artists, will be for sale. All proceeds will go to the individual artists.

Seeing Red by Bryan Thompson

 Up in Heaven by Kenny Stischok

 Morning Tree by Jim Dillion

VSA arts of Ohio is a statewide service organization dedicated to empowering people with disabilities, creatively and inclusively, through the arts. The organization provides educational, outreach and professional development programming.

VSA arts of Ohio is a member of the international network of VSA arts, an affiliate of The John F. Kennedy Center of the Performing Arts.

Artwork by members of the Sky High Arts program at MATCO in London has been selected for inclusion in a statewide, touring exhibit. The celebrated artists are: (front row, from left) Roy D. Austin, Jim Dillion; (second row) Rebecca Bell, Bob Watson; (back row) Steve Shingler, Arnold J. Large and Kenny Stischok. Bryan Thompson is not pictured. (To see all of selected art pieces, go to www.columbusmessenger.com; click on Madison.)

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