Orlando Sentinel: Artists from Winter Park's McRae Art Studios to exhibit works in Leesburg


"Confluence," oil on canvas by Stephen Bach. (Courtesy of Stephen Bach / January 9, 2014)

By Christine Cole, Correspondent

January 10, 2014

LEESBURG — For those who missed the popular Holiday Open House at Winter Park's McRae Art Studios in December, not to worry. The artists will exhibit at the Leesburg Center for the Arts for a month.

"Intersecting Journeys" will open with a reception from 5 to 7 p.m. Saturday. The exhibit includes current work from the nearly two dozen artists who work at the 10,000 square-foot Railroad Avenue building, which comprises separate studio spaces for each artist.

"We have such a great stable of artists," member Stephen Bach said. "Nobody competes directly with each other. They aren't competing for the same buyer. We share critiques and we try to help each other."

The late George Whipple and his wife, Marty, founded the studio on 1987 after visiting the Torpedo Factory Art Center in Alexandria, Va.

Two works by Marty Whipple are in the show, including a shadowbox surrounding a small hand that holds a small bottle filled with mysterious liquid.

The Whipples' son, widely collected painter and sculptor John Whipple is represented by a painting in his series of "misfits," oddly formed figures that often represent contemporary neuroses.

John Whipple's wife, Lynn, is also nationally known. Although she has turned her attention to plein-air painting, she is showing one of her signature collages that challenge the imagination of the viewer.

One striking image is of one McRae painter painting another. Larry Moore painted Matthew Cornell at work in his McRae studio.

"It captures Matthew," Bach said. "He paints like Chuck Close, starting at the upper left corner."

People can see a Donne Bittner painting — "She builds up a rich texture with pastels," Bach said — one of Victor Bokas' Florida dreams and an organic-shaped bronze by jeweler Mary Ostrander.

Ceramicist Susan Bach entered a few of her gleaming black-and-white patterned bowls, cups and lidded containers, which are lined with vivid shades of orange, cobalt, leaf green and chrome yellow.

Her husband, Stephen Bach, brought one of his recent works, "Confluence," an oil on canvas.

"It is about how the light transforms the landscape, especially when the sun goes down," he said. "I've always been fascinated with landscapes."

The exhibit will continue at the center, 429 W. Magnolia St., through Feb. 14.

Bach will give a workshop in oil and acrylic paints at the center from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Jan. 29 and 30. Cost is $145 for members and $165 for non-members..

For more information, call 352-365-0232.

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