BUCKHANNON — ART26201 will present “QUIET PLACES,” a solo exhibition by artist Beth Wheeler, Friday, February 11, 2022, at the M.I.B. GALLERY in the Colonial Arts Center. There will be a special opening artist’s reception from 4 to 8 p.m., and Wheeler will give a special introduction at 5 p.m.
Reservations are recommended for the artist’s introduction, and they can be emailed to info@ART26201.com.
In addition to the opening event on February 11, the M.I.B. GALLERY will be open from 4-8 p.m. on February 12, 18, 19, 25 and 26, and March 4 and 5.
All events at the M.I.B. GALLERY are free and open to the public. Significant financial assistance for the Colonial Arts Center Rehabilitation project has been provided by the West Virginia Department of Arts, Culture and History; ART26201; Buckhannon Community Theatre; and the FirstEnergy Foundation.
About Beth Wheeler:
Beth Wheeler grew up in rural Pennsylvania and attended Saint Francis University. She completed an MA degree in art history at West Virginia University and is currently pursuing an MFA degree in painting at Indiana University of Pennsylvania. Having grown up in the woods and mountains, Beth has always held a deep love for nature, and landscape imagery has been the primary subject of her art from a young age. Her paintings depict her interpretations of the places that she personally knows and cherishes.
Painting landscapes, for me, is about engaging purposefully with the world around me, developing a greater awareness of and appreciation for the places that I live in and travel through. For me, being alone in nature often feels sacred, and painting allows me to process and distill these experiences. To paint the scenes that make me pause and fill me with wonder is to extend and interpret these experiences—to recognize the emotional and spiritual import of these moments; to alter and reexperience through the lens of memory. The process itself seems to me a metaphor for learning to notice and value the subtleties of life, which reveal themselves only when we step out of the bustle of our daily routine and allow ourselves to be stilled, to be truly present and aware and open.
Conceptually, my work explores the intersections between the experience of nature, the act of creation, and the practice of contemplative spirituality. Technically, I am inspired by the traditions of nineteenth-century landscape painting.
The artwork in this exhibit is drawn from the landscape surrounding my home in Indiana, PA, and my parents’ house in rural Patton, about an hour’s drive away. Both are places rich in memory and meaning for me, and I’m enthralled by the timeless, transportive quality of the rolling mountains and pastoral farmland abundant in this region. The work in this exhibition is my attempt to capture the sense of solitude and sanctuary that I find as I wander these places, employing scale, texture, and atmospheric effect to invite viewers into these scenes of simplicity, quietude, and peace.
ART26201 is a non-profit organization whose mission is to “celebrate and promote the creative and inspirational opportunities in the Buckhannon community.” For more information about ART26201 projects, and for ways to provide financial or volunteer support, email info@ART26201.com or visit their website at www.ART26201.com.