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Country roads lead to studios, artists at work

by: PHOTO BY ELLEN SPITALERI - Sharon Bangerter adds a dab of paint to a portrait as she works in her Beavercreek studio.A beautiful girl, her blonde hair windswept, peeks out of the frame. Delectable golden fruit in a jar looks good enough to eat.

These provide a glimpse of Sharon Bangerter’s paintings that will be on display Oct. 12, 13 and 14, as part of the Open Studios of Beavercreek event.

This is Bangerter’s second year participating in the event, held twice a year in June and October and featuring up to 26 individual artists displaying their works at as many as 14 studio locations.

Bangerter will be working on a portrait as visitors come to her home on Carus Road, where she will have a wide array of original paintings and prints available for purchase, including some portraits, still lifes and landscapes, worked in acrylics and water colors.

The prints are giclee prints, which is a French word for ink jet, Bangerter noted and all her works are matted to fit standard size frames.

She will also be sharing space with Pat Wendt, who makes felted hats and purses.

Bangerter and her husband moved here nine years ago from the Bay Area, because they wanted a bit of land. They settled on 45 acres in Beavercreek, and Bangerter, a former high school art teacher, looked around, hoping to find a creative outlet for her work.

“One friend told me about the Open Studios of Beavercreek, so I started going to it. It connects you to other people and you get to know the artists,” she said, adding that it is fun to drive around in the country, see a farm, and realize an artist with a studio is living there.

The first time she participated in the event, she was given some portrait commissions, plus she was able to meet interesting people, some of whom turned out to be her neighbors.

Children, workshops

Bangerter and her husband raised six children, and one summer she came up with the idea to give her daughters a job helping teach art to neighbor children.

“There was no art in the schools, so we started teaching in our garage and later our home in California. We used professional liquid watercolors and matted each piece; the kids’ parents framed the art and people saw it, so we did not have to even advertise after that first year,” she said.

“The kids did phenomenal things. If you take children and give them some basic instruction and good materials, you will get amazing results,” Bangerter said.

She and her daughters taught the summer classes for 10 years.

After her own children were grown, she painted with a group of friends at a local junior college in California for four years.

Now that she has moved here, and has 23 grandchildren, half of whom live in the area, she is so busy that she likes to attend workshops that give her the opportunity to learn and paint. Bangerter is also a quilter, and has attended quilting seminars for nine years.

Although some of her colorful creations will be on display at the Open Studios of Beavercreek event, she does not sell her quilts, instead giving them to family members for special occasions. Her oldest two grandchildren just finished high school, so Bangerter has decided to start a tradition of giving each grandchild a graduation quilt, mostly because, she said, “those are love.”

Fast Facts

Open Studios of Beavercreek — tour scenic Beavercreek back roads, meet the artists and experience their world Oct. 12, 13 and 14 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

Visit the website to see a list of artists and their specialties and download a map to all the studios at openstudiosofbeavercreek.com.

Call 503-632-4146.

Ask the studios for a punch card and enter to win a $50 gift certificate.

Founding member artists: Krista Cary, Marion Gilliland, Bunny Lewis, Blenda Tyvoll, Connie Veenker, Jude Welter and Diane Wright.

Guest artists: Becky Albeke, Sharon Bangerter, Carol Bresky, Becky Buchanan, Tobey Chadsey, Lynn Collum, Ben Dye, Debbie Ellis, Carol Ellison, Peggy Hayes, Jill Lawrence, Donna LaPlante, Carrie Moore, Jerry Myra, Susan Patterson, Sue Snethen, Pat Wendt, Jay Younger and Marilyn Woods.




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