She paints, she draws, she letters, she sculpts, she stamps. Local artist Ann Bain has been doing it all for six decades, and she’s celebrating her twentieth birthday this week.
Ann is my brother’s mother-in-law, and her birthday is this coming Wednesday, February 29th. To celebrate, she teamed up with several artist friends for “Exuberance,” a gallery showing and opening party at The Cannery Art and Design Center in downtown Dayton. And “Exuberance” is the perfect name for the event: Ann might have been on the earth for eighty years, but she has the energy and enthusiasm of a twenty-year-old! The name of the showing pays homage to poet William Blake, and reads in full as “Exuberance is Beauty — Energy is Eternal Delight.” The Dayton Daily News had a wonderful article about the exhibit and party in Saturday’s issue.
A Pittsburgh native, Ann’s early artistic career included a stint in Alcoa’s commercial art department. That was over fifty years ago, and she still keeps in touch with her boss, who sends her birthday cards that are works of art in and of themselves. When she spoke to her guests and thanked everyone for coming, she brought out this year’s card, an 8-1/2″ x 11″, multi-panel fold-out that contained drawings and photos of Ann with some comical modifications and commentary.
Ann paints in a variety of media – and on a variety of surfaces. One work features calligraphy in an outline style, on sheer fabric, hung over a colorful painting. She has handmade books, and sculptures (usually covered in handmade paper and painted with lettering).
Some of her work is normally displayed in her home studio. Metamorphosis Wheel, a piece I hadn’t seen before, was particularly intriguing. Some of her work was exhibited at the Schuster Center last year when the Dayton Philharmonic Orchestra and Wright State University’s choir performed Leonard Bernstein’s Mass. Several of her pieces, originally inspired by the Mass, were featured in the full color program as well.
The “Exuberance” exhibit will be on display at the Cannery Art and Design Center at 434 East Third St. through March. Ann’s work is also featured on an ongoing basis at the Village Artisans gallery in nearby Yellow Springs, and she accepts calligraphy commissions through The Mulberry Tree in Oakwood.
Ann’s website is at www.artbyannbain.com, which I designed and set up for her as a gift several years ago. It’s one of the more fun projects I’ve done as a web designer!
So if you’re in the area, consider stopping by the Cannery Art & Design Center, and check out Ann’s work! A lot of beautiful and fascinating artwork by the gallery’s resident artists is also on display. The gallery will soon move around the corner to a new home at 45 St. Clair St., and I’ll definitely return for another visit (and another blog entry)!
Do you have a favorite hometown artist and/or gallery? I’d love to hear from you! Give me some ideas on where’s a great place to experience art in your hometown!
Check out other fun facts and sights at the My Town Monday blog.