Those entering the Wyoming County Courthouse will see that new artwork is adorning the walls on the first floor.
The Spring Art Exhibit officially opened on Friday and will remain on display until July 25. The exhibit features oils, water colors, and pen and ink drawings by five local artists, two of whom showed up on Friday at the opening of the exhibition.
“I do mostly plain oil painting,” said Terry Proctor of Tunkhannock when asked to describe her work. “Although I also do some still life.”
Proctor has six paintings on display at the courthouse, including ‘Blue Cyprus State Park,’ ‘Copper and Gold,’ and ‘Urban Sunnies.’
“I’ve been painting since I was a teenager, so you could say I’ve been doing it for 40-plus years,” she said with a laugh.
Plain air paintings are created by the artist, painting an outdoor scene.
“You don’t take it back into the studio,” Proctor said.
Proctor’s work is no stranger at the Wyoming County Courthouse, having appeared in previous exhibitions several times over the years. She’s also had regional shows at the Endless Mountains Council of the Arts, and exhibits at other locations throughout the area.
In biographical material supplied for the courthouse exhibit, Proctor credits her mother, Charlotte Dickinson, who is also an artist, as the person who influenced her to take up painting.
“A painting is successful if the viewer feels a sense of delight at first viewing and then enjoys that excitement while studying all the elements of the image,” Proctor wrote in the background information.
Another artist whose work is now being displayed on the courthouse walls is Lavona Daniels of Tunkhannock, whose medium is watercolors.
“I occasionally do oils, but mostly watercolors,” Daniels explained.
Samples of Daniels’ work at the courthouse include ‘Early Morning Garden,’ ‘Up the Creek,’ and ‘Antique Bottles.’
Daniels said this is her second or third appearance at the Wyoming County Courthouse, and she’s also had paintings displayed at the Dietrich Theater, as well as by Endless Mountains Council of the Arts. She has been painting since 2000.
“I’ve always had an interest in painting,” Daniels said. “My grandmother, Laura Dietrich, was a painter, and I watched her paint.”
Daniels started painting in full time after she retired as an RN at Tyler Memorial Hospital. She paints at home, and also enjoys producing plain air paintings outdoor in good weather.
“I like the friendships I’ve developed through painting,” Daniels said when asked what she liked best about her work.
Daniels also said she enjoys helping hang the painting at the courthouse when its time to put them on display.
Three other local artists whose work is on display at the courthouse, but who were absent when the exhibit opened Barbara Kapalski of Nicholson, Cheryl Korb if Mill City, and Joe Welden of Montrose.
An exhibit has been an on-going event at the Wyoming County Courthouse for the past 21 years, under the direction of Marta Kovacs-Ruiz.
“I know the artists in our community, and I try to select the ones who haven’t had a chance to exhibit for at least a year,” Kovacs-Ruiz explained about the criteria she uses when she decides on whose work will be put on display. “We have a lot of talent in Wyoming County, and this is a venue for them to exhibit.”
Asked what inspired her to display artwork at the courthouse, Kovacs-Ruiz said she walked in one day and noticed how bare the walls were on the first floor.
This prompted her to approach the Wyoming County Commissioners, asking if they would be willing to provide some money to put on an art exhibit.
“At first they told me they didn’t have any money,” Kovacs-Ruiz explained. “Then Ron Williams asked me how much money would be needed. I told him $100 to purchase strips and hangers.”
Williams and the other commissioners were agreeable to this, and this started the exhibit, which changes every few months.
“It’s very important that an artist’s work is seen by other people,” Kovacs-Ruiz said. “I’m proud of the fact that I’ve done some good for the artists in our community.”
Kovacs-Ruiz also thanked Kapalski, who oversees the hanging of the artwork when a new display opens at the courthouse.