RCAA October Artist of the Month to be showcased on Vigo County Public Library YouTube channel

Footbridge by Dian Der Ohanian Phillips

Dian Der Ohanian Phillips is River City Art Association’s October Artist of the Month to be featured by the Vigo County Public Library in a virtual gallery on its Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the library is unable to display artwork in its Artist of the Month gallery space in the lobby of the main branch in Terre Haute.

Dian  works primarily in watercolor, acrylic and oils. Her paintings and her black and white photography is strongly influenced by nature and rural scenes.

Autumn Dreamscape by Dian Der Ohanian Phillips

“It’s the season of colorful autumn leaves, drives through the country – over the river and through the woods – pumpkins, hayrides, bonfires and country festivals,” says Dian in her artist statement for the virtual slideshow presentation. “These paintings reflect the season with images of colorful fall leaves and rural farm scenes, and I hope you enjoy them.”

Dian has always been an artist and was influenced and encouraged by her father, who was a gifted painter. Growing up in New Albany, Indiana, she took every elective art class in middle and high school, and took Saturday morning art classes at the University of Louisville. Also during that time (and long before online courses), she began correspondence course work with Art Instruction Schools. That foundation course in drawing, painting and commercial art gave her the skills to be hired in an art department immediately after high school graduation.

 A scholarship student at Herron School of Art in Indianapolis, Dian received a B.F.A. in visual communications. Her foundation courses included fine art and photography (where she learned darkroom skills). She completed a Masters program at Indiana University, and did additional post-graduate work at Boston University. While at Herron, she studied painting with professors Harry A. Davis, Edmund Brucker, Robert Berkshire and Sarah Burns.

Dian was a graphic designer/art director for the majority of her professional life. Her career began when layouts were created on a drawing board using the tools of the trade: x-acto knives, rubber cement, ruling pens and acetate overlays. Twenty years later, she transitioned from drawing board to Macintosh computers. Her photography also transitioned from film/darkrooms to digital cameras. She continued her fine art pursuits during those years by taking drawing and painting classes. After retiring, Dian began painting again full time. She has participated in several group and solo exhibitions in the Midwest and has received awards for her painting and photography. Her art is in private collections throughout the United States.

 Contact Dian at art_2_art@yahoo.com
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New photographic works by RCAA artist featured in Vigo library’s virtual presentation

Standing Strong by Thomas Wright

Thomas Wright is River City Art Association’s September Artist of the Month to be featured by the Vigo County Public Library in a virtual gallery on its Facebook page and YouTube channel.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the library is unable to display artwork in its Artist of the Month gallery space in the lobby of the main branch in Terre Haute.

Greene to Chrome by Thomas Wright

The virtual presentation created by the library includes new work not previously displayed by Wright: “Angel Oak”, “White Altered”, “Green to Chrome”, “Standing Strong”, “Rest Stop”,  and “Abandoned Pier”.

The two car images “White Altered” and “Green to Chrome” are part of Wright’s ever growing Definitive Car Series. This series is a concentration of the different lines, curves and parts of older cars that provide the onlooker with the information needed to identify the car. Most cars of today look much the same unlike the cars of yesterday which tend to have a personality and their own definitive look.
“Angel Oak” is an image of one of America’s oldest living trees. It stands in Angel Oak Park near Charleston, South Carolina. It is thought by some to be near 1500 years old but is more likely around 500 years of age. It is 65 feet tall and 28 feet in circumference. It provides 17,000 square feet of shade and the longest branch is 187 feet long. Truly, Angel Oak is a magnificent tree for all to enjoy.
Wright’s artist statement is “Life is too short, preserve its memories in a photo as tomorrow is never promised”
Wright, born and raised in Terre Haute, had a fascination for photography and art at a young age. He was always drawing or taking photographs. After saving enough of his hard earned money, he bought his first “real” camera from Galloway Photo Shops.
While attending Terre Haute South Vigo High School, he became the lead photographer for the yearbook. He also continued to sharpen his skills behind the camera and became a sales associate at Galloway Photo.
After working at Galloway Photo for awhile, Wright was promoted to run the black and white photo finishing and copy lab. He continued to work for Galloway Photo for close to six years before taking a job at Sony DADC, where he was a printer for almost 32 years.
Wright left factory work due to health reasons and now concentrates on his photography. Wright prints all of his work himself at home whether for an art exhibit or personal everyday use. He uses high quality professional papers and inks specializing in metallic and pearl based papers. Using these specific professional metallic and pearl papers, the final images are produced with a truly realistic look and have a much more vibrant color reproduction to the final print in comparison to a normal matte, semi-gloss, or glossy surface print.
Wright has received several placement awards through the years entering his artwork in photography contests by TREES Inc. and in  the professional open class Fine Arts Department at the Vigo County Fair.
In 2018 Wright became an active member of River City Art Association and Wabash Valley Art Guild and has entered many juried exhibitions and art shows promoted by the two groups. Wright received a first place award on his titled piece “Vertical Limits” at the 2018 WVAG Spring Fling show at Clabber Girl as well as an honorable mention on his titled piece “Frosted”. He received a second place on his titled piece “Blue to Chrome” at the 2018 Terre Haute First National Bank sponsored River City Summer art exhibit. In 2019 he received an honorable mention on his titled piece “Golden Reflections” in the Clabber Girl WVAG exhibit. He received a second place award on his titled piece “Golden Reflections” at the 2019 River City summer exhibit at Terre Haute First National bank.
Most recent Wright received first place top honors on his titled piece “Reflective Past” at the 2019 Midwest Photography Show that was on exhibit at the Link Art Gallery in Paris, Illinois.
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RCAA announces winners in its 12th Annual Juried Exhibition

Best of Show: David Gill, “The Old Engineer”

River City Art Association recognized the talent of 26 Indiana and Illinois artists during the 12th Annual RCAA Juried Exhibition Aug. 7 and 8 in the Fine Arts/Floriculture Building at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds in Terre Haute.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the annual Downtown Terre Haute First Friday event sponsored by First Financial Bank was moved to the fairgrounds to allow larger space for social distancing.

Christy Brinkman-Robertson, professional artist and art curator at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology, selected winners in five categories as well as Best of Show from more than 70 entries.

Tribune-Star Valley Viewer cover 10-10-20

Her comments include “Has the illusion of stained glass”; “Great handling of pencil and use of color”; “Beautiful carving details”; “Immediately calls up emotions”; “Love the unexpected use of fabric for a 3D effect”; “Great title, nice double picture effect with reflection in glass”; “Great technical use of paint”; and “Extra fine lines around banjo makes this piece look like it’s playing!”

Best of Show winnings, sponsored by First Financial Bank, went to David V. Gill of Clay City for his oil painting, “The Old Engineer.”

First-place medallions were awarded to Gill for his oil painting, “What Now?”; Sheila K. Ter Meer of Brazil for her photography entry on giclee canvas, “City in Pane”; RCAA co-founer Monty “Indiana” Jones of Terre Haute for “Ragtop” in colored pencil in the drawing category; Valerie Funk of Terre Haute for a mixed media entry in fabric and threads, “Dream Pray Scream”; and Edith Acton of Terre Haute for a fused glass wall hanging in the ceramics/glass category, “Always Spring.”

Second-place honors went to Acton for her fused glass entry, “Crossover”; Jane Lubbehusen of Terre Haute for her pastel drawing, “Church Meeting”; Elaine Waltz of Parke County for an oil painting, “Bainbridge Feed and Grain”; Alexandra McNichols-Torroledo of Terre Haute for “Weaving/Txhiicx Umnxi (Yuwe Ige),” a platinum palladium print entry in the photography category; and Todd Stokes of Dennison, Illinois for his mixed media entry, a 3D etched glass piece, “Banjo.”

3rd Place Drawing and Artists’ Choice: “Covered Bridge” by David Garrison

Third-place recognition went to Stokes for a photography entry, “Dennison Sunrise”; Mary Mayhew of Terre Haute for her oil painting, “All In It Together”; Bob DeFrance of Terre Haute for a mixed media piece, a wood carving titled “Sycamore Leaf, B”; Richard Acton of Terre Haute for a wall hanging in ceramics/clay, “Old Town”; and David Garrison of Spencer for his Conte crayon drawing, “Covered Bridge.”

Mike Bender Memorial Drawing Award

RCAA created a special award this year in the drawing category to be presented posthumously to its past president and award-winning pen and ink artist Mike Bender.

The Aug. 8 reception ended with Garrison receiving the Artists’ Choice Award for “Covered Bridge” and the People’s Choice award for “Old Mill,” another Conte crayon drawing.

Other participating artists at the closing reception/awards ceremony were Bryan Bromstrup, Brad Burson, Dian Der Ohanian Phillips, Lynne Dunnavant, Marcia Norman, Sandy Ridge-Fisher, Thomas Wright and Spencer Young. The exhibition also featured artwork by Hayley Bean, Lacey Lewis, Tna Martin and Don Turner.

For more exhibition highlights visit River City Art Association on Facebook. For membership details, contact past president Todd Stokes at 812-870-8252.

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Richard Acton RCAA’s featured artist in August on Vigo County Public Library YouTube channel

Cluster of Leaves by Richard Acton

Richard Acton, River City Art Association’s August Artist of the Month, is featured on the YouTube channel for the Vigo County Public Library in Terre Haute, Indiana.

Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the library board suspended the Artist of the Month display in March and recently decided to continue in August with the virtual format.

Richard works with clay, wood and other media to construct his wall hangings.

A favorite past-time activity of Richard’s is to go to his home studio to work and create pieces of clay into art.  A relative newcomer to the creative process he has made a numerous amount of wall hangings to display around the Terre Haute area.

A background of teaching Industrial Arts to high school students plus working in industry has given Richard the knowledge of building and creating objects for their usefulness and beauty.  He began working with wood because of the practicality and availability of the materials but eventually decided that was not enough to satisfy the need to make things that reflected the happenings around him. 
After studying at John Campbell’s Folk Art School, Indiana State University and Torner Community Center in Deming Park — and lots of experimenting — within five years he was able to make wall hangings from the medium of clay. 

Spring Fern by Richard Acton

The technique that Richard developed is unique because the clay is actually a backdrop for his designs and pictures.  The clay is flattened into a size that will hold his vision and then drawn, painted with under glazes and glazes, fired in a kiln and then framed for presentation.  He says that each piece will take up to two weeks to complete because of drying the clay and getting it prepared for the kiln. Each of the pieces turn into a learning process due to the fact that there is  a lot of trial and error to get exactly the piece you intend to create.                   

Clay is a medium that does not always have to be shaped into a bowl, plate, vase or cup; there is an endless amount of creative items to make from this medium that has been used throughout time.
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Call for Entries: RCAA’s 12th Annual Juried Exhibition

River City Art Association invites Wabash Valley artists to enter it’s 12th Annual Juried Exhibition to be displayed Aug. 7 and 8 in the Fine Arts Building at the Wabash Valley Fairgrounds in Terre Haute.

Exhibition hours will be 5 to 8 p.m. Aug. 7 and 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. Aug. 8 with a reception at 6 p.m. and awards ceremony at 6:30.

The competition is open to Indiana and Illinois artists age 18 and older.

Art must be entirely original, completed within the last three years, and not previously entered in a juried RCAA exhibition.

Juror will be Christy Brinkman-Robertson, art curator at Rose-Hulman Institute of Technology. An award-winning artist, her resume includes commissioned paintings, an outdoor mural, jewelry design, and illustrations for the Terre Haute Living magazine.

Brinkman-Robertson will select winners in five categories as well as the Best of Show. First-, second- and third-place and honorable mention prizes will be awarded in drawing (includes ink, pencil, pastel, printmaking), painting (includes watercolor, oil, acrylic, encaustic), photography/digital art, ceramics/glass (includes shattered, fused and etched glass) and mixed media (includes wood, metal, fabric/thread and three-dimensional artwork).

A special award in memory of RCAA past president and award-winning artist Mike Bender will be selected from entries in the drawing category. The Artists’ Choice and the People’s Choice awards will be determined from votes by participating artists and guests viewing the exhibition.

Entry fees are $20 for RCAA and Wabash Valley Art Guild members, $30 for nonmembers and $15 for students (with valid student ID) for up to three entries per artist.

Entry deadline is July 29. Entry forms with non-refundable fee (and copy of student ID) can be mailed to RCAA 12th Annual Exhibition, P.O. Box 3605, Terre Haute, IN 47803; or, emailed to ToddBstokes@gmail.com and payment made at time of dropoff.

All two-dimensional artwork must be suitably framed and wired for hanging. Art with “sawtooth hangers” and “clip frames” will not be accepted. Gallery-wrapped canvas paintings or photographs qualify. RCAA reserves the right to reject work that is not suitably framed or is not suitable subject matter for public display.

Entrants are to deliver their artwork between 9 a.m. and noon Aug. 7 and bring easels to display their work. Art/artist identification tags must be attached to the back or bottom of each piece. Artists can pick up their entries when the show ends Aug. 8; or, between 9 a.m. and noon Aug. 9.

2020 RCAA Call For Entries Prospectus (Front)

2020 RCAA CallForEntriesProspectus (Back)

The Call for Entries prospectus and an entry form also are available on RCAA’s Facebook page. For more information contact RCAA vice president Todd Stokes at 812-870-8252.

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New RCAA logo and email, and sneak peak at artists’ portfolio on Amazon

Design © 2020/Dian Der Ohanian Phillips

River City Art Association in Terre Haute, Indiana, would like to announce its new logo, email, and portfolio available on Amazon.

The new logo: Design © 2020/Dian Der Ohanian Phillips, RCAA President
“The updated mark incorporates elements that represent a partial Terre Haute skyline, a winding Wabash River (which is so much a part of this Wabash Valley), and the green elements that represent the beautiful green spaces in our city,” says Dian. “The contemporary font is clean and easy to read. I’m proud to be a part of this group (currently president) and am equally proud that they allowed me to redesign their logo. I am honored.”
In addition, Dian also added her artistic flair to RCAA’s banner on this website, as well as RCAA’s Facebook, Instagram and Twitter social media sites.

RCAA’s email is now RiverCityArtAssociation@gmail.com

RCAA portfolio available now on Amazon!!

River City Art Association now has a portfolio that features artwork and biographies of 20 artist members and the wide variety of art styles River City Art Association’s members contribute to the Wabash Valley.

“This collection of paintings, drawings, photographic images and other media promotes the accomplishments of River City Art Association award-winning artists. The biographies give insight into the inspiration driving the creativity of 20 Indiana and Illinois artists, focusing on their talent and individual contributions to the arts community beyond the reach of the Wabash Valley,” states the book’s introduction/forward by RCAA’s Sheila K. Ter Meer.

To purchase the book and support local art:

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In Memorium: Mike Bender, award-winning artist and River City Art Association past president

Click on the link to read about our friend, dedicated River City Art Association past president, and award-winning pen and ink artist.

Mike L. Bender, 62, of Terre Haute passed away Sunday, March 15, 2020 in Signature Healthcare. He was born July 27, 1957 in Brazil, Indiana to Claude and Della (Brown) Bender.
Mike is survived by his mother, Della Bender of Terre Haute; son, Brandon Bender (Brooke) of Terre Haute; grandchildren, Makayla Bender, Drake Bender, and Aiden Bender; great-grandson, Dominic Bracken; and life partner Sandy Whitcomb.
He was preceded in death by his father.
Mike was past president of the River City Art Association.
Per Mike’s request no services are scheduled and cremation has been chosen. Samaritan Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.
Online condolences may be left at http://www.samaritanfunerals.com

Obituary published March 17, 2020/Terre Haute Tribune-Star
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