Residents’ Gallery

By Pat Collins
Photographs by Bob Dunham

The Residents’ Gallery was once again on display in the Barker Center’s Craft Room. The May 2019 collection featured some of the best works of our friends and neighbors at John Knox Village. This exhibit showcased the artistic talents of six residents: Mary T. Clark, Joe Cotie, Kim Lary, Anita DelVecchio, Norm Knutson, and Michael Williams. The media on display included photographs, paintings, and stained glass. The stained glass pieces in the show were included to highlight the accomplishments of Dr. Luis Lacourt’s stained glass class that is held every Wednesday and Saturday in the Craft Room. Ann Gillis is the lady behind the scenes; who coordinates and manages the Residents’ Gallery.

Mary T. Clark seldom plans her art projects. She lets her ideas form and change throughout the creative process. Born with imagination and the artistic talent to express it, Mary T. has been drawing since she was a child. When asked how she chooses her subjects, she replied that she favors subjects in motion or ones where the artwork itself seems to flow. Anything sitting still holds no interest for her.

Mary T. Clark shares a laugh with Gene Schlecht

When asked which of her paintings she likes best, she said the Orange Cat with Bird and Umbrella. Why? Because whenever she looks at it, she smiles. And she hopes it makes others smile too.

Joe Cotie’s interest in artwork developed during the 20 years he lived in South Florida where he attended two years of art classes at the Norton Gallery of Art in West Palm Beach. This experience helped him see the beauty in the world. It also sharpened his eye for detail, which was an asset in his career as an engineer developing technical manuals requiring pen and ink drawings.

Joe Cotie displayed several pieces of art at the Residents’ Gallery.

About the time Joe finished art school, the city of Delray Beach, Florida, was celebrating its 100th anniversary. The city asked Joe to work on several projects to commemorate the anniversary including the creation of a 30-foot by 35-foot long mural. The mural was created from photos of Joe’s artwork that were reduced in size and printed on one-foot square pieces of glass. The completed mural consisted of 18,000 glass pieces.

When asked how he chooses his subject matter, Joe replied that throughout his extensive world travels, he photographed scenes that enthralled him and were evocative of the location. Later he would use acrylics to paint large versions of the scenes captured in his photos. His painting of Lake Fountain came about when he was captivated by the lake and its wildlife.

Anita DelVecchio has been painting since she was five years old. By the age of 13 she began taking art seriously, which led to four years of art school at the Rochester and Robinson Art School in New York. When it comes to art, Anita said, “You never stop learning.” Anita specializes in oil, acrylics, and water colors. Her subjects range across still life, live models, animals (especially dogs), and her own imagination. Her portraits are primarily in oil with strong light and good shadows to bring out the subject. She favors the Rembrandt style for portraits: dark background, gesso with rabbit glue for a smooth surface, drawing an idea of a face, and using a brush for the rest of the portrait so the skin looks smooth.

When asked what advice she would give aspiring artists, Anita replied, “Learn the color wheel, the primary colors, and what works well together. Find an instructor or a local art group and learn the basics. Don’t be afraid to try.”

Kim Lary continues to be fascinated with the way color and light play on water. This attraction began at the tender age of five when Kim lived in Germany where her father was stationed. Her mother always knew where to look for Kim – she’d be standing by the fountain, entranced by the play of light on the mosaic wall basin. As she grew older, Kim’s interests expanded to include photography. The heron photo in the art exhibit is one example. And if you are wondering about the identity of the young girl in the rattan chair – it’s a self-portrait done in water color.

Kim Lary displays one of her pieces of stained glass.

Kim’s true passion is stained glass; which she says “sings and sparkles to me.” Her stained glass homage to Winnie the Pooh is an example. When she and her husband Jeff moved to JKV, they brought with them approximately 250 square feet of stained glass. As a team, Kim and Jeff portray many subjects in glass, including pet portraits.

Norm Knutson is a self-taught artist. The challenge Norm sets for himself is to draw accurately, and his subject is often people. As a very young boy, he was inspired by the black and white photos in Life magazine. He would try to copy the photos using graphite, before he discovered

Norm studied printmaking in college and eventually bought a printing press and set up his own studio for drawing and printing. He preferred the mezzotint process because it provided a print surface that most closely resembled his drawings. If you’d like to see an example of mezzotint, take a close look at his sea shell artwork.

Michael Williams is a self-taught cameraman who learned his photographic techniques from books. He started out with an Instamatic Kodak camera. Today, his camera of choice is Nikon, and his preferred media consists of Epson paper with a cloth-like feel printed on an Epson XP830 printer using Epson ink. He shared that his favorite photo among those on display is of a tree he took in 2010 at the South Rim of the Grand Canyon. It caught his eye because it was a mature tree that was totally naked of leaves and perfectly accented by the rich blue sky behind it. Michael says, “The tree looked twice as good in person.”

His interest in photography came not from the art world but from engineering. In his early career, he produced technical renderings on vellum using pencils of different hardness, with the points hand-sharpened to the proper angle using a razor blade and a sandpaper pad. This sparked his interest in shading and perspective where 1-point perspective has a single vanishing point, and 2-point perspective shows increased detail owing to having lines parallel to two different angles.

Michael Williams shares his love of photography.

Michael’s individualized training along with choice of equipment and media allow his personal view of the world to shine through.