Inspired by their fascination with wildlife, woodlands, and water, clay artists Alan and Rosemary Bennett, collage painter Phiddy Webb, and sculptor Craig Wilson, bring their diverse interpretations to the Arts Center of Yates County from May 4 to June 4. The exhibit features the artists’ transformation of clay, paint, papers, wire, and steel into the forms, colors, and motion of aquatic life.

When Alan Bennett was 5 years-old, he caught a bluegill. He thought it was so beautiful that he kept it in his pocket for days (until his mother found it while doing the laundry). Rosemary spent countless hours as a child playing in the water and fishing with her grandmother whenever she could.  From their studio in Bath, using clay and porcelain, they create wall and free-standing fish, turtles, and frogs so lifelike you can visualize them shimmering in crystal waters. “Our work is about form, expression, color, texture, and movement,” says Alan.

With its array of colors, patterns, and textures, collage is truly unique. Artist Phiddy Webb spent five years trying different mediums and “found acrylic painting and creating my own papers to be the most fun.”  From her summer home on the shore of Waneta Lake, Phiddy cuts, paints, and layers her nature- themed collages, bringing Wiley the Walleye, Peggy the Perch, animals, flowers, and trees to life with vibrant colors, whimsy,

 and detail. 

“I learned a lot from nature…and capture the essence and feel of it in a very cold, hard material,” award-winning Irondequoit sculptor Craig Wilson says. As a child, he caught turtles, frogs, and garden snakes, took them home to care for them and thus his lifelong love of wildlife was born. For nearly 50 years, Wilson, a self-taught artist, has been sculpting metal and wire into contemporary, natural, and whimsical birds, fish, frogs, and wriggly creatures of all kinds.

Wishing you were fishing? Come on over and swap fish tales with Craig, Alan and Rosemary, Phiddy, and others. The exhibit opens from 5-7 p.m. Friday, May 4 and will also include work created by many other of the Center’s local exhibiting artists. Enjoy a taste of local wine and delicious, homemade hors d’oeuvres. Admission is free and everyone is welcome.

The Arts Center of Penn Yan is located at 127 Main St., Penn Yan. The Flick Gallery is open to all from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. weekdays and 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturdays. For more information on exhibits and workshops, visit www.artscenteryatescounty.org or like us on Facebook.

Be there

What: Art Show Opening

When: 5 - 7 p.m. May 4

Where: Arts Center of Yates County, 127 Main St., Penn Yan