The Fine Art Center at Town & Country is the Dayton area’s oldest cooperative gallery, and is celebrating nearly 20 years as a fine-art venue in the Miami Valley. The gallery is currently highlighting some newer members in a group exhibit throughout the summer: Gary Kunze, Lori Stallings, Peter Frederick, Tim Stein and Yuki Hall.
The Kettering resident became a member last year. He has been passionate about photography all of his life, and started to pursue it more seriously in 2008. He is showing many landscape images like Marblehead Lighthouse in Ohio, a waterfall at Hocking Hills, and tulips from Smith Gardens in Oakwood.
“For a photographer you need to be at the right place and know the camera.
But the artists I really admire and value are those who take a blank slate and paint a realistic or imagined composition,” said Kunze, who has Parkinson’s disease and volunteers his time for Target Dayton and other organizations.
The Sidney artist shows an eclectic mix of various subjects in her favorite medium, watercolor. Sunlight dapples through treetops on a field, a pair of pigs seem to smile at the viewer, or a single tear drops from one dark eye.
“I have been a member of TFAC for almost a year now. It has been a good experience for me,” said Stallings, whose work can be seen at www.loristallings.com. “I’m getting my work in the public eye and rubbing shoulders with other professional artists. There is always something to learn and improve upon.”
The signature member of the Ohio Watercolor Society, Western Ohio Watercolor Society, and the Philadelphia Water Color Society lives in Dayton with his wife Amy and four children. His preferred subject is landscapes, but he also creates realistic paintings of guitars, and colorful abstracts.
“I don’t have much in the gallery right now, since I am showing my works at the Epiphany Gallery,” said Frederick. “I do have a couple of paintings from my series, ‘The Trees’ at Town & Country.”
The Kettering artist likes to create wooden sculptures with a scroll saw. He started with a Craftsman 16-inch tool, and several years later graduated to a Dewalt 20- inch saw. He has a wide selection of wall hangings and tabletop designs that celebrate everything from weddings, to dogs, to faith. He will take special orders for other ideas as well.
“I started using a scroll saw about 15 years ago to help me relax,” stated Stein. “I have had people ask me if my items were made using a laser, but all my items are handmade. Depending upon the detail, it may take up to 4 hours to make all the cuts.”
The Western Ohio Watercolor Society award winner joined the gallery this past April. She had exhibited at the gallery before during the Western Ohio Watercolor Society Spring Show. She has won numerous awards in her impressionistic style as a watercolorist.
“I am truly enjoying being a member there. T & C Gallery is not just a place artist sell their artwork. We do a lot of community outreach to support cancer patients,” said Hall, who lives in Beavercreek.
Other presentations going on at the gallery are the husband-and-wife team Keith and Karin Thue with their “Playing With Color” series and member Rosie Huart and her daughter Monica Davis in the main window with “Elements, Illumination & Poetry.” The mother-daughter show is a collaboration of photography, mixed media and poetry. Karin Thue has unique and practical office accessories using stained glass pieces and found objects to create office accessories, and Keith is showing his paintings. This is the last day for both of these shows.
“We are looking for new members, and we have a special benefit going on now. If an artist joins before the end of July, they get one month’s free membership,” said Karen Benedetti, who is adding mixed media like collage paper, found objects, and old cut-up paintings in her new creative endeavors.
There are currently around 20 members of the Fine Art Gallery. Regular membership costs $185 per month for 12 linear feet of gallery space at the prime Town & Country location. If the artist doesn’t volunteer in the gallery, the monthly rent is $250 per month. Gallery commissions are 15 percent.
“I am the artist I am today because of TFAC. It has broadened my horizons and been instrumental in building my confidence and self-esteem as an artist,” said Huart, a charter member. “I receive so much more in rewards and benefits that I pay out each month. I get to interact with the public and feel the pulse of the art community at large.”
How to go
What: The Fine Art Center at Town & Country group exhibit
Where: Town & Country Shopping Center, 300 E. Stroop Road, Kettering
When: Continues through August
Hours: 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and noon to 5 p.m. Sundays
More info: (937) 293-5381 and www.townandcountryfineartcenter.com