The Rome Art and Community Center, 308 W. Bloomfield St., opens its series of Winter Gallery exhibits starting with a free, public, adult reception from 6:30 to 8 p.m. Thursday.
Two local artists and one art group will have their works on display. Walter Merrick and Sheila Feldman display their talents via paintings. A collaborative group, “Exceptional Artworks” offers expression through oil, watercolors, collage, crayon and mixed media.
Exhibits will be on display in the Center’s galleries until Jan. 15. Center hours are Monday through Thursday, 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. (closed from noon to 12:30 p.m. for lunch), and Friday 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
The Peach-Lynch Library Gallery will host Sheila Feldman’s work. Her oil paintings reflect artistry found in still life and floral pieces and echo her appreciation of the beauty around her and childhood memories of flowers from her mother’s and grandmother’s gardens. She considers herself a self taught painter although she has studied at Munson-Williams-Proctor Institute.
She was raised in Vernon and Westmoreland where she gained an appreciation of the beauty in rural landscapes. She resides in Rome, with her husband and two adult sons. Ms. Feldman is a member of the Rome Art Association and has received several awards for her paintings at the Rome Regional Art exhibit and third place at the 2010 Arts and Crafts Festival.
Walter L. Merrick, a long time resident of Rome, will exhibit his paintings on the second floor in Gallery 1. Merrick earned a bachelor of science in art education at Buffalo State College as an honors graduate. He completed post-grad studies at Arizona State University and received a master of arts degree from Penn State University.
The Merrick family has lived in Rome for nearly 50 years. During that time Walter and his wife have raised their four children here and participated in numerous community projects. He also served on the Board of Directors at the Rome Art and Community Center in its early years and he taught classes as well. He has exhibited at the Center in the past and submitted entries to the Regional Fine Arts Exhibition where he won several awards. In 2011 Merrick received “Best in Show” from the Rome Regional Exhibition for his painting “Erratic Hiding.”
“Anyone viewing his work can understand why he is so greatly admired and successful,” center officials said. He also taught art at Vernon-Verona-Sherrill High School for 25 years and concurrently taught at Mohawk Valley Community College where his work was also exhibited.
In Gallery 2 “Exceptional Artworks” pieces will be exhibited. These artworks in oil, watercolor, tempera, ink, crayon, mixed media and others are creative expressions of artists with developmental disabilities. The Exceptional Artworks Program provides opportunities to express thoughts and feelings through the arts and also increases public awareness of the talents and creativity of people with disabilities. Clients of state and voluntary agencies from Oneida, Herkimer, and Madison Counties participate in the program.
The Exceptional Artwork Committee is comprised of 24 representatives from the following seven participating Agencies: Central NY DDSO, The ARC, Oneida Lewis Chapter, NYSARC, Madison Cortland ARC, Herkimer Area Resource Center (HARC), Resource Center for Independent Living (RCIL), Heritage Farm and Arise of Madison County.
For information, call 336-1040 or visit www.romeart.org