First exhibit of 2021 opens at Arts Center

Staff reports
The Chronicle-Express

For several years the first show of the year at the Arts Center of Yates County has featured the work of some of its most familiar exhibiting artists. This year the Arts Center is highlighting the work of painters Beverly Oben, Lana Grauer and Eric Happ and potter Faith Benedict, in an exhibit opening Jan. 6. 

Beverly Oben lives in Bluff Point and has been making art since she was a child.  As an elementary school teacher she delighted in incorporating art into her curriculum, but it was after retiring that she really began pursuing her own artistic desires. After “dabbling in watercolor” she took some lessons in palette knife oil painting, which became her favorite medium. A member of the Penn Yan Art Guild, she also taught children’s art classes at the Arts Center for many years. 

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Lana Grauer lived for many years in California but spent summers on Keuka Lake and eventually moved to the area after her husband retired. “As a landscape painter I am amazed and in awe of nature in the Finger Lakes Region of Upstate New York. The changing seasons and rapidly evolving weather patterns provide an immense palette of hues and values," she says. She paints exclusively with pastel, although she often starts her piece with a watercolor or pure pigment underpainting.  She loves painting “en plein air” (outside). 

A piece by landscape painter Lana Grauer.

Eric Happ grew up outside of Rochester and has lived on the shores of Seneca Lake for more than 20 years. Like Bev Oben, Eric began his artistic career after retiring from the New York State Health Department. He prefers to work in watercolors and acrylics. “I enjoy putting as much depth into a painting as I can with the use of perspective, lights and darks, and paying close attention to shadows," he said. He seems to be most drawn to nautical subjects due to a lifelong attraction to water, sailing and scuba diving.

A painting by Eric Happ, one of four artists featured in the newest exhibit at the Arts Center of Yates County.

More than four decades ago, Faith Benedict “retired” as a professional potter and began a new career as a local art teacher, working in the Penn Yan elementary, middle and high schools for more than 30 years. Upon her second retirement (from teaching), she turned back to her pottery and is once again producing graceful bowls, vases, teapots and more, often adorned with gently curving leafy shapes in the glaze.  Still a popular ceramics teacher, she also serves on the Arts Center’s Board of Directors. 

Pottery by Faith Benedict, among the artists in the exhibit opening Jan. 6.

A selection of work from each of these local featured artists, along with work from many of the Arts Center’s other exhibiting artists, can be seen at the Arts Center starting on Wednesday, Jan. 6. Stop by and enjoy a moment of artistic Zen! The Arts Center, located at 127 Main St. in Penn Yan, is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. and on Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.  Admission is free.