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Watershed, an exhibition of Archived Artists and their pupils. Curated by William Martin Jean

November 12, 2015 @ 6:00 pm - January 23, 2016 @ 5:00 pm

Phyllis Seltzer

Ruth Bercaw - Venue

This show examines the influence of three local teachers and accomplished artists, W. M. Jean, Ruth Bercaw and Tom Roese and a selection of their pupils, who became noted artists in their own right, Susan Lowe, Derek Hess, Ken Nevadomi, Dexter Davis, George Kozmon, Glen Ratusnik and Nick Taylor.

Under the guidance of teachers there may have been a turning point, a “watershed moment” when the world of art opened up to the student. These moments are difficult to pin point, but they do happen and when they take place a certain energy develops that feeds that talent into a satisfying pursuit. It can be the small encouragement of a teacher who puts your work on the bulletin board or the poster contest you were prompted to successfully enter. These little things all add up to a sense of pride and confidence in your creativity and artistic abilities.

In William Jeans curatorial statement he writes,

“All of the artists exhibiting here have similar stories to tell about how they came to the realization of pursuing a career as an artist. My high school art teacher was a Sister of Charities nun who made us understand that to become an artist you had to work at it seriously. It just wasn’t something you did at school in art class, you had to do it all the time at home, think about it in church, read about it in libraries; look at art in museums, in magazines and books, and relate it to your other subjects. In other words it was total absorption that would make you stand out from the crowd…. Watershed includes three teachers Ruth Bercaw, Tom Roese and myself ,all of whom are also archived artists along with some of their former students who they taught in high school or in Saturday or summer programs or in colleges or universities. The background of each of these teachers is similar to mine in that there was someone early on who made them understand that there must be a total commitment if one is to succeed in this difficult business…

The development of an artist’s work goes in many directions with many influences along the way. Sometimes these influences come early in an artist’s career and sometimes later. We as teachers have the delightful and challenging task of attempting to open the eyes of young talent to the basic fundamentals of art and allow them to find their own creativity…. Viewing the exhibition makes one aware that each of these artists has; in time found their own voice, creating diverse approaches in subject and media. It is always a proud moment when teachers can reflect on the part of the road that they helped these former students travel.”

The conversation surrounding the benefits of art education has been in the forefront of public debate in recent years. It is rapidly becoming scientifically accepted that learning visual arts, music and dance can be instrumental in the formation of physical connections in the brain which have lasting effects on human development. Artists have always been in the vanguard of creative thinkers and the encouragement of teachers cannot be underestimated in the formation of future generations of artists.

Watershed will open with a public reception on Thursday November 12, from 5:30 – 8:00pm. A brief artists talk will take place mid-way during the opening reception where the artists will speak about their work and answer questions from the audience.

This event is free and open to the public.


November 12, 2015 @ 6:00 pm
January 23, 2016 @ 5:00 pm
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